Friday morning, Market Street was inundated by thousands of students marching as part of the globally-organized Climate Strikes, chanting for a cleaner, more environmentally sound future. And among the companies targeted to hear the message were Amazon, PG&E, Bank of America, and others.
Per Bay City News, tweens, teens, and twenty-somethings howled lines like "climate change has got to go" and "climate justice now," exclaiming to the grown-ups that it’s time to make our planet’s well-being a top priority. The huge group — which was reported have numbered north of 40,000 — marched toward U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office at 1 Post Street, before heading to the waterfront for one last hoorah.
"I'm scared for our future if we even have one," said Otto, a 13-year-old student, speaking to Bay City News.
Caroline Hench, too, a high school student from Oakland — who was among the hundreds of Bay Area elementary school students who chose to forego class to advocate for climate activism — added that she “[thinks] it’s more important to protest [for climate action] than go to school because we won’t even be able to do that soon.”
San Francisco’s Amazon Go stores yesterday also doubled as a water-cooler for both climate activism and calls for social justice.
“We see issues [like immigration, labor rights, and climate change] as intertwined,” said Kung Feng, an organizer for Jobs with Justice San Francisco to CityLab. “Our health as families, our health as workers, and the health of the planet — these things are all connected,” he adds, speaking near the cashier-less storefront where signs that read "ICE isn’t NICE" were held.
Sadie Scott, a 17-year-old San Franciscan, also expressed her concerns regarding the current state of our planet. “We’re about 10 years behind in terms of the actions that we should be taking to stop climate change,” she said to KPIX/CBS SF. “And so one day of disruption to change the entire planet feels like not even close to the risk of the price we should be paying for all of our actions and the contributions we have made toward ending it.”
As SFist reported earlier, four hundred students walked out of Berkeley High School, boarded BART, and joined the SF leg of the Climate Strikes. (In a similar fashion, roughly 300 students walked out of various San Francisco public schools, per district spokesperson Laura Dudnik said to CBS SF Bay Area, as well.)
Marchers of all ages stopped at the company headquarters of Bank of America, Amazon, BlackRock, and PG&E. Once at those addresses, calls for “Green not Greed” could be heard emanating from the passing masses; PG&E’s 77 Beale Sreet address was the center for vociferous demands for the utility company to switch over to renewable energies and to take responsibility for the now over 1,500 wildfires caused by their power lines.
"I'm here because I care about our planet, and it's going to get to a point where the effects of climate change are going to be irreversible," said Abby Diacumos of San Mateo speaking to KQED. The 17 year old ditched class to help guide the shift in how we prioritize the future of the youngest generation. "We have to do something now and every voice here has to be heard. ... The greedy corporations are filled with white old men, and the people who care about this are younger millennials and Gen Zs, and we're the ones making a difference."
Yesterday’s uplifting happening was just as much a family affair as it was a call for action on the Sanders-back New Green Deal.
“This is a really powerful experience for me and for the kids,” said Steve Spaid who brought three of his third-graders along with him. During the strike, young ones could even see hand-drawing ant-Amazon protests signs, wielding their crayons and markers in hopes of changing the world for the better.
“I’m just glad to see it so big, I know it’s going global so we are pretty charged to be here,” Spaid concluded.
Going into next week, we can expect to see more #ClimateSrike rallies pop-up around the country and world.
Photo: Courtesy of Unsplash