On September 20th, people in over 2500 locations across the globe – including 900 in the United States – will walk out of work and classes to demand serious climate action.
It will be an extraordinary show of global power — one that will also have enormous impacts on local fights for climate justice everywhere. Organizers who have been leading fights against dangerous fossil fuel projects, or to defend their communities from the growing impact of extreme weather will be on strike to say that climate justice requires bold local action from every level of government.
Here are stories from 4 climate justice organizers across the United States who will be leading strikes in their communities this Friday. You can join them in this historic mobilization by signing up for a strike near you now.
“My first thought when I heard about the climate strikes was: Alright! What’s going in Flagstaff?
I kept waiting to hear about someone organizing something, but when nothing came up, I decided I’d do it myself! I found an amazing group of people to organize with me, which has led to something far more impactful than I could ever have imagined or created on my own.
I expect this week of action to create tangible momentum – from direct pressure on the school district to do more, to better funding for implementation of the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, to future youth-led climate events.”
– Dara Marks-Marino, Flagstaff, Arizona
“A few summers ago fires from California, Oregon and Washington caused smoke so bad that I almost couldn’t go outside. We need to make big change now, and this is one of the few ways for students to make ourselves heard.
We’ve asked the city of Portland to have a “Climate test” on every decision made by the city and its departments, meaning anything that isn’t good for the environment can’t happen. We need them to take that big step forward for our generation.”
– Jackson Calhoun, Portland, Oregon
“Back in the 90s I read research that said Montana’s forest fires would become “megafires,”, and that Montana would slowly loose its cold-water fishery as its world-class rivers and streams got warmer and held less water from our snowpack in the mountains. I’ve lived to see both things come true.
On September 20th, we are planning student-planned rallies, demonstrations against our power company’s plans to build new fossil fuel generators, and a family-friendly gathering to listen to speakers and plant trees. I expect our growing movement will bring out more people than we’ve seen before, and I expect that these crowds alone will dominate our local news cycle.”
– Jeffrey Smith, Missoula, Montana
“Louisiana has a deep-seated culture of celebrating anything related to oil and gas. We also have a culture of resistance.
Communities of color, which have mainly been impacted by the toxins that come with the petrochemical infrastructure are rising up in resistance to their homes being designated sacrifice zones.
With the leadership of environmental justice organizations, we are winning. We just had a huge win in that Chinese chemical company Wanhua pulled back their application of constructing a new plant in St. James parish. Also the fertilizer plant Mosaic halted production. On September 20th we will continue the struggle across New Orleans, Louisiana, and Beyond.”
– Renate Heurich, New Orleans, Louisiana