Thousands Of Bay Area Youth Demand Action On Climate Change

Doug Sovern
September 20, 2019 - 3:18 pm
Tens of thousands of Bay Area youth participate in global day of action on climate change

Doug Sovern/KCBS Radio

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Tens of thousands of Bay Area youth participate in global day of action on climate change
Doug Sovern/KCBS Radio

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (KCBS Radio) – Tens of thousands of young people from across the Bay Area skipped school Friday to shut down much of downtown San Francisco as part of a global day of action on climate change.

“I’m probably going to learn more today than I would in math class,” said 14-year-old Kate West of Oakland, explaining her decision to join the “Climate Strike” that stretched for almost a mile along Market Street.

The massive throng of demonstrators started their march at Representative Nancy Pelosi’s office at 7th and Mission streets and weaved their way to Embarcadero Plaza, passing by a series of targets that organizers say are “contributing to climate breakdown” including an Amazon Go store, financial management corporation BlackRock, PG&E headquarters and the office of Senator Dianne Feinstein.

The crowd waved colorful signs with images of a warming earth and rising seas and chanted “stop denying our planet is dying”. One sign read “We are skipping our lessons to teach you one.”

But despite an atmosphere that was festive at times, demonstrators say they are being forced to take action on an issue that is life and death.

“We see this apocalypse that is coming up on us. And it is an apocalypse, it’s nothing less than that,” said 16-year-old Hannah Friedman of Berkeley. “The youth do care, we’re not some apathetic generation that doesn’t care about change because we’re looking at our screens.”

16-year-old Nadja held a sign that read, “I'd be at school, if the earth was still cool.” She told KCBS Radio “Our politicians have failed to take sufficient action on climate change, and it’s up to the youth to take responsibility for this issue that will affect our future.”

The march paralyzed traffic downtown for several hours in the largest weekday demonstration San Francisco has seen in years.

Organizers say the demonstration is the start of the “Bay Area Week of Climate Action” with more demonstrations to come.