Activist Gets Detained At Science March, Calls Entire Thing Racist

Andrew Follett | Energy and Science Reporter

A prominent environmental justice activist claims he was “assaulted, roughed up, and detained” by a Washington, D.C., cop Saturday at the March For Science and his fellow marchers ignored it.

Reverend Lennox Yearwood claims he was detained while walking across the street to get to the science march. In a Huffington Post column recounting the incident, Yearwood claimed he was slammed against a food truck and accused of being “on drugs.”

Yearwood claims that because none of the nearby attendees of the March for Science stood up for him while he was being detained, the event shows the inherent racism of many participating in the march.

After being slammed into the food truck, five officers allegedly surrounded Yearwood then detained him. Once he was identified as a member of the clergy and a VIP at the march, the officers ran his identification for outstanding warrants and did not find anything. Yearwood was then allegedly released without being placed under arrest.

A public information officer at the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department told The Daily Caller News Foundation they were “looking into” Yearwood’s complaint.

“But the deeply disappointing truth of this Earth Day case of racial profiling, was that none of my fellow science marchers stopped or took issue with what was happening,” Yearwood wrote in The Huffington Post. “They didn’t question or pause to witness in a way that one would for a member of one’s community. ”

Yearwood claims that of an entire crowd of white people surrounding him, only one woman with dyed pink hair offered to help after he was released. He wrote that his experience was representative of how the environmental movement ignores the concerns of African-Americans.

“The crowd didn’t really do anything,” Yearwood told The New Republic. “I saw how quickly they were to accept there was a person of color being detained.”

The science march expected run-ins with law enforcement, tweeting legal advice last week instructing activists to “[b]e prepared for the improbable (encounters with law enforcement).” This advice linked to a legal handout prepared by the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF), one of the march’s official partners.

CSLDF’s handout tells activists how to behave when arrested by police. The handout says to bring cash, make emergency childcare plans in advance, memorize the phone numbers of lawyers and to disable security programs on smartphones to make it harder for police to search them. The handout also instructs activists to record police activities when possible.

Organizers say the march is part of a movement by “scientists and science enthusiasts in protest of the policies of the United States Congress and President Donald J. Trump.”

The march is largely inspired by alleged “censorship” of federal science agencies and by “anti-science” comments made by Trump. The group is concerned Trump is “[s]lashing funding and restricting scientists from communicating their findings.”

The march has been criticized for focusing only on scientific issues appealing to progressives. The march’s official Twitter account claimed in a now deleted tweet that far-left issues such as ableism, transphobia, colonization, native rights and economic justice are eminently important scientific issues.

Plans for the march are plagued by infighting among its organizers as well as attacks from outside scientists who are upset their issues are being ignored. Several senior members of the march quit because of it “failed to actively address those structural inequalities within its own organization.”

Several left leaning environmental groups are listed on the rally’s website as direct partners, including NextGen Climate America, the Center for Biological Diversity, 350.org and the Union of Concerned Scientists. The march has over 518,000 “likes” on Facebook and 347,000 Twitter followers. An estimated 25,000 activists say they’ll be attending the march in Washington D.C.

The March For Science did not return requests for comment to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Amber Randall contributed to this report. 

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Tags : org center for biological diversity donald trump huffington post march for science nextgen climate america the new republic union of concerned scientists washington d c
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