The planet is in a climate emergency, but teens aren’t going down without a fight.
On Friday, thousands of teen activists from all over Ventura County and Los Angeles, joining a global movement, walked out of school and crowded the streets to demand action on climate change from leaders around the world.
These protests took place in downtown L.A. and Westlake Village from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM. In L.A., around 8,000 activists began marching at Pershing Square and arrived back at the start two hours later. In Westlake, a rally was being held on the corner of Thousand Oaks Blvd. where a few hundred adults and children demonstrated for three hours.
Even in the intense heat, kids displayed their homemade picket signs such as “Planet over Profit,” and “It’s not a hoax,” and chanted “ay ay, ho ho, climate change has got to go,” to express the urgency of this issue.
“Our strike was meant to make a big scene so congress could see that the youth are fighting for their future,” organizer Kailyn Cruz said. “We shouldn’t have to be striking, we should be in school learning.”
Inspired by 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg from Sweden, these strikes give children and teens around the globe a say in their future, even though adults are the ones filling out the voting ballots.
“I’m trying to become more passionate and aware of my actions,” sophomore protester Gabby Wolf said. “I came here to learn and also to support.”
The smaller protest took place in Westlake, where many more Thousand Oaks High School students were in attendance. President of the Environmental Club, senior Marina Zernik was among them.
“I’m just really passionate about it, and it really angers me that people don’t understand how big of an issue this is, ” Zernik said. “After a while it really gets to you…it’s like the world is declining and we’re just sitting there.”
Hosted by Ms. Farrell, Environmental Club takes place every Wednesday in room E4 with a mission to help restore our planet by getting Lancers involved. From gardening to coastal clean-ups to inspiring a more eco-friendly lifestyle, Environmental Club makes their mark on campus as well as in the community.
“[Environmental Club] is just a group of students hoping to make a change at our school by [changing] the attitude people have toward the environment,” Zernik said. “Everybody’s welcome to join and get involved by participating in our club events.”
These rallies are being named the largest climate protests in history, making it evident teens around the world want better for their future. Another Global Climate Strike, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 27, is taking place in over 150 countries.