Sharp political passions over President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate treaty and his links to Russia brought people onto the streets of cities around the globe on Saturday, mostly to condemn but some to praise him.
The largest of the many US rallies organized as a March for Truth appeared to be in New York, where as many as 3,000 anti-Trump protesters descended on Foley Square in Lower Manhattan, with some shouting “Liar!” or “Lock him up!” or “Take back America!”
Perhaps 2,000 people converged around the Washington Monument in the US capital to similarly demand an independent and transparent investigation of the allegations that Trump or his aides might have colluded with Russia ahead of last year’s US presidential election.
Organizers planned rallies in cities from Seattle on the US West Coast to Munich, Germany and Lima, Peru. They also demanded that Trump release his tax returns.
The US demonstrations appeared to be mostly peaceful. They were far smaller than some of the earlier anti-Trump protests.
They took place just days before the highly anticipated appearance June 8 before a Senate committee of James Comey, who as FBI director was leading an investigation of the Russia matter before Trump fired him early in May.
Trump has denied placing pressure on Comey or the FBI, as well as denying any collusion with Russia.
At the same time as the other rallies Saturday, a few hundred Trump supporters gathered on the street in front of the White House to applaud the president’s withdrawal from the Paris treaty — a move widely criticized around the world — and to demonstrate their backing for the Republican president.
That rally was dubbed “Pittsburgh, Not Paris” — a reference to the president’s statement Thursday, in announcing his plan to withdraw from the international climate treaty, that “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
The Trump supporters included Vince Harrison, 56, a burly retired firefighter from Washington, who said it was his first rally ever.
“I believe in clean air, and I think Americans will still lead on clean air,” he said. But he added that the treaty “was costing us billions to be in it while other countries were not required to do anything.”
Treaty supporters note that it is actually non-binding — no country was required to do anything — but the presence of the United States, the second-largest polluter after China, was considered vital.
Some at the rally said other issues mattered more to them than the climate pact — starting with building a wall on the Mexican border.
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