Environmentalists will once again rally in the nation’s capital this weekend, this time for the People’s Climate March.
The Saturday demonstration comes one week after the March for Science and Earth Day rally, but organizers say the People’s Climate March will be more political and aimed at specific Trump administration policies.
It’s unclear how many people will attend, but demonstration permits from the National Park Service indicate that organizers are prepared to accommodate 50,000 to 100,000 people. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Virgin Airlines founder Richard Branson and former vice president Al Gore are expected to attend, according to the permit.
Hundreds of smaller climate marches are planned across the country to coincide with the main event in Washington.
Thanu Yakupitiyage, national communications manager at 350.org — an advocacy group that is part of the coalition organizing the march — said march leaders have helped coordinate more than 450 buses to Washington for protesters from across the country.
“The March for Science was really the response of scientists who felt that there was really an assault on rationality and science,” she said. “This is really more of a community response.”
The People’s Climate March is the third large demonstration to occur on consecutive weekends in downtown Washington. The Tax March kicked off the string of high-profile protests on April 15, when people demonstrated in front of the Capitol and marched along Pennsylvania Avenue, calling on President Trump to release his tax returns.
Another protest is scheduled for Monday, when immigration advocates say they plan to show they won’t be intimidated by rhetoric and policies aimed at the immigrant community.
The National Park Service, which oversees the Mall, has fielded 33 percent more requests this year for permits to protest on the District’s federal land than it had at this time last year, said agency spokesman Mike Litterst. The Park Service had received 197 permit requests for demonstrations as of last week, compared with 148 at the same time in 2016.
The People’s Climate March purposefully falls on April 29, Trump’s 100th day in office, a symbolic threshold during a new presidency. Trump has rolled back some Obama-era environmental regulations and appointed a head of the Environmental Protection Agency who rejects the science of climate change.
On Wednesday, Trump signed an executive order calling into question national monument designations, which could make it easier to drill and mine on these federally protected lands.
Yakupitiyage said members of communities that have been directly affected by climate change will be at the march, including Louisiana residents from areas where homes have been damaged and fishermen’s livelihoods altered.
“These are people who have already seen the impacts of climate change,” she said. “We see this march to be about social justice, economic justice and racial justice.”
The first People’s Climate March occurred on the eve of the United Nations Climate Summit in September 2014. Tens of thousands of people attended that march in New York.
In a Thursday night event planned as a run-up to the Saturday march, a group of about 150 environmentalists protested outside the Trump Hotel. They shouted their support for efforts to clean water and produce renewable energy, and at one point blocked Pennsylvania Avenue.
Saturday’s demonstration will begin at 10 a.m. near the Capitol. At 12:30 p.m., protesters will begin marching west on Pennsylvania Avenue NW toward the White House. Organizers then will surround the White House and “make a loud sound demanding climate justice and good jobs that will drown out all of the climate-denying nonsense that has been coming out of this administration,” according to their website .
The demonstration will end with a rally and concert near the Washington Monument.
D.C. police say the protest will close portions of Pennsylvania Avenue and side streets at various times between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday.
Clarence Williams contributed to this report.