Deadline: Before it’s too late –
On September 20 an estimated 40,000 people marched in San Francisco, one event among many over the Bay Area Week of Climate Action. The crowd marched to the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Dianne Feinstein, ICE, and PG&E, among others. The San Francisco action joined millions of people in 150 countries who protested as part of the Global Climate Strike, organized and led by youth and their allies to demand our leaders take immediate action to preserve the planet for our future generations.
Indivisible East Bay member Anne shared her experience at the SF Strike:
I was only able to join during my lunch break, but I was simultaneously awed and devastated by what I saw in that short amount of time. The sheer number of Bay Area youth who took time off from school to be on their feet yelling all day – some potentially facing punishment – was breathtaking. Some were marching with parents, some with school groups in matching t-shirts, some with groups of friends, all coming together for one purpose. But I also saw tons of diversity of opinion – kids begging adults and leaders to take the science seriously, clever signs calling out fossil fuel CEOs for their role, budding socialists criticizing capitalism, and young adults turning their bullhorns back on the crowd asking us to move our money out of complicit financial institutions. It gave me hope to see such a variety of people coalescing for action on Climate Change. And I was also devastated to realize that the situation has gotten so bad that young people, who should be worrying about college applications and crushes, had to be out here fixing the mess that we adults can’t seem to fix. It was an inspiring and shaming moment for me.
Fossil Free California member (and friend of IEB) Sara, on vacation in Germany, marched there with Fossil Free Berlin, which works for divestment of the federal workers’ pension.
For more inspiration, take a moment to listen to Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23.
What you can do:
- Support or join these groups:
- Friday, September 27: Join youth and allies to protest Chevron at its global headquarters in San Ramon. Organizers YVA and Idle No More SF Bay plan a vibrant, powerful action demanding that Chevron’s CEO speak to the youth whose future is jeopardized because of Chevron’s drive for profits at the expense of our air, water and climate.
- Educators and Students: Petition CalSTRS to divest from fossil fuels. The State Teachers’ Retirement System holds $6 billion in fossil fuel stocks, and stepping out of this investment would be a huge push to get these companies out of the way of stopping climate change. Teachers can sign the petition, gather together for letter-writing parties to CalSTRS board members, and work with students to make posters or videos to send to the board. The SF Bay Area Climate Strike is elevating this issue during the week of action, as the relevant decision makers are beginning to listen.
- Take the Flight-Free 2020 pledge
Anne Spevack contributed to this article.
Photographs by Anne Spevack, Sylvia Chi, Sherry Drobner, and Jon Frappier