On Friday, November 1, 2019, members of CASM and thousands of Los Angelenos and Santa Monicans gathered at LA City Hall to strike for the Climate Emergency as part of a larger series of Friday strikes by young people around the globe, ditching classes and work for the sake of the planet for a movement known as Fridays for Future.
This Friday’s march focused primarily on the oil and gas industry that is heavily prevalent and influential here in Los Angeles. We gathered and marched to Governor Gavin Newsom’s LA office demanding that the Governor begin to act on behalf of the people and planet instead of continuing business as usual favoring profits and big fossil fuel corporations.
Specifically, according to a press release the strike was organized to “uplift three core demands for Governor Newsom around California’s fossil fuel production”:
- Roll out a 2,500-foot health and safety buffer to protect frontline communities;
- Stop issuing any new fossil fuel permits to protect our climate future; and
- Drop existing oil production with a just transition to a clean energy economy.
The group was joined by the original Fridays for Future Climate Striker, 16-year old Swedish Activist, Greta Thunberg, who’s been here in the United States since September inspiring the youth of North America to wake up, rise up and make sure their voices are heard by those in power, that the time to combat the climate crisis is NOW. There is no time to waste.
The march was followed up by a number of our leading local young activists as well as Thunberg. Their messages were inspired, authentic, and empowering. They shared horror stories of the adverse health consequences affecting them and our local communities forced to live in proximity to oil fields, refineries, and congested freeways. They also shared stories of triumph where our local government has stepped in to put the welfare of the people first and curb polluting corporations. Finally, they instilled hope, reminding us that we have the power when we come together in large numbers to have our voices heard, when we get out and VOTE to put the right people in office, and finally in our everyday choices and actions. We always have the power to make a choice to ride a bike instead of drive, choose beans over beef, and refuse to buy goods wrapped in plastic.
Combating the climate crisis will require action from every single one of us. We at Climate Action Santa Monica believe that together we can save humanity and the planet, especially if we continue to support and uplift the efforts of our younger generation. They are the future.
Here are some of our favorite photos captured during the event.