By Richard Coca
“Hey hey ho ho fossil fuels have got to go.”
As I walked down to Palo Alto’s City Hall, I heard a familiar chant that made my ears perk up at first listen. The day was September 20, but more importantly, it was the day of the Global Climate Strike. A culmination of multiple climate justice movements, the Global Climate Strike sought to show to the world that climate justice advocates come in many sizes, ages, cultures, and from almost every place on our collective planet.
Kids from toddlers to high school students were among the crowd and quite frankly, they were the ones who really made me smile and gave me hope. One young student was also given the microphone during the event and made a passionate argument for the adoption of the Green New Deal. While opponents of the Green New Deal might have you believe that such a policy would be too difficult for a child to understand, this student made it clear: our planet can’t afford inaction.
Among the crowd were also student activists working with Sunrise Movement. Many of them brought with them megaphones that allowed them to lead chants. Others brought signs expressing their support for the Green New Deal.
As I heard one of them lead a “fossil fuels have got to go chant,” I was reminded that organizing for climate action extended beyond just the global strike. That chant reminded of when Fossil Free Stanford lead a protest and rally in order to get Stanford to divest from fossil fuels. It reminded me that there are many organizations on campus working to make sure Stanford does its part.
To make it clear, organizing for climate justice is a long-term commitment. It means not only centering the environment and ways to mitigate the climate crisis. It means centering indigenous voices, Black voices, the voices of people and color, and the voices of most marginalized who have been and will continue to be disproportionally affected by the climate crisis.
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