Hundreds of young people shut down San Francisco’s Market Street on Friday as they rallied through the city’s downtown during a climate strike to bring awareness to the effects of climate change.
Elementary, middle and high school students came together at the 10 a.m. rally at Embarcadero Plaza, organized by the group Youth vs Apocalypse, along with other organizations.
The activists wore red and orange and held large images of flames and signs with slogans including, “No nature, no future,” and “Stop climate chaos.”
“Our world is literally on fire. Every day we have smoke days. That didn’t used to be a thing,” Youth vs Apocalypse Education and Organizing Coordinator Hannah Estrada, 18, said.
“We as young people shouldn’t have to march in the streets for this. But we’re letting that fire fuel the movement because we will literally burn if we don’t do something about this,” she said.
“We are seeing the effects already. Whole communities have burned to the ground and they (politicians) have the audacity to tell us they’re doing the best they can. It’s not enough anymore when people are burning, dying, getting asthma, and cancer,” she said.
“We’re in climate chaos; a climate catastrophe, and we need to make an immediate change,” said Christopher Soriano, a 13-year-old Oakland High School student. “There’s no time to just stand by and not do anything.”
The activists marched along Market Street to the Federal Building on Seventh Street, before heading to City Hall.
During the march, the activists staged “die-ins,” where they sat or lied on the ground to demonstrate the urgency of the climate situation.
The activists are calling on politicians like Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to promote change. The activists want Congress to pass the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill, which would invest in nationwide climate change programs.
“I’m so proud of the youth that helped to organize and mobilize for this,” said Cory Jong, an educator and member of the Youth vs Apocalypse Adult Advisory Board. “It’s really so inspiring and they really feel this movement in their hearts.”