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Tens Of Thousands Protest Worldwide In Support Of Science, Against 'Assault On Facts'

Protesters March in Belgrade.

WASHINGTON - Tens of thousands of people marched in Washington, D.C., and around the world in support of science on April 22, protesting what many called an "assault on facts" by populist politicians.

The "March for Science" demonstrations took place on Earth Day in an effort "to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments," the organizers said on their website.

Many protesters used the day to push back against the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump, who in the past has dismissed scientific research, particularly on climate change, as a hoax.

On a rainy afternoon, protesters met near the Washington Monument for music, speeches, and lectures by scientists.

Trump passed dozens of protesters on his way to visit wounded soldiers at a military hospital while a sign saying, "Stop denying the earth is dying" was visible from the motorcade.

Organizers said the protest were conducted on a nonpartisan basis, but many of the signs and banners took on Trump's policies.

Demonstrators marched in other cities across the globe.

In Paris, one banner, in French, said: "We are the resistance against the orange menace in Washington! Defend science!"

In Serbia, hundreds of scientists and researchers protested in Belgrade demanding better work conditions from the authorities, claiming that only 0.7 percent of the state budget was allocated to science.

Those protests came at the same time as other demonstrators, mostly students, continued their protests against the election of Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic as president.

In Sydney, a marcher told the AFP news agency, "In this day and age, there's so much fake news and alternate facts going around that it's important to remember that science is what has built the society we know today."

With reporting by RFE/RL’s Balkan Service, AP, AFP, and dpa
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