Students walkout for #ClimateUprising as part of a national movement


Alex Depa emphasized that environmental change needs to be taken before exploring the option of inhabiting Mars on Friday afternoon at Trinity Lawn during the #ClimateUprising walkout. Photo credit: Brian Luong

Alex Depa carried a cardboard sign around Trinity Lawn reading: “Don’t make us use Mars,” before speaking to a crowd.

“This planet is pretty much fucked OK,” he said as he took the mic to address the crowd gathered. “We’re gonna have to move off-planet within a few centuries… but don’t make us do it yet. It’s cold there, there’s no oxygen … Don’t make us use Mars!”

Standing in front of a crowd of approximately 100 people, Depa, along with other students from surrounding schools, voiced their concerns about climate conditions.

“The last thing that I wanna do is put a gas mask on my child’s head and tell them ‘OK, you got five minutes outside, and then you have to come back in. Don’t touch the water,’” said Sophie Thomas, another student who walked out of class today in strike.

Depa and Thomas are students from Inspire School of Arts and Sciences, one of the schools participating in the walkout along with other students from Chico State and Chico High.

The walkout at Chico State was a part of a national climate strike that took place across the nation. Students left their classes at 10:30 a.m. in protest of the current generation-in-power’s inaction towards climate change. The walkout featured a teach-in to further educate people about sustainability before ending at 1 p.m. The idea comes from Swedish youth, Greta Thunberg, who has been leading school walkouts every Friday since October 2018, saying that there’s no reason to continue schooling if there is not going to be a future.

Age groups varied from young children to grown adults, with a focus on the youth who are the ones that will be left with a polluted planet.

Ali Meders-Knight, a member of the Mechoopda Tribe, spoke about the negative changes that have been made to Chico’s environment at the #ClimateUprising walkout on Friday afternoon at Trinity Lawn. Photo credit: Brian Luong

The event was put on by Maggie Scarpa, the coordinator of Education and Outreach in the Associated Student body, and Jared Geiser, the executive vice president of A.S. Sustainability.

Geiser stressed how important the youth being a part of the fight against climate change is going to be in the coming years.

Jared Geiser, executive vice president of A.S. Sustainability, moderated the #ClimateUprising walkout on Friday afternoon at Trinity Lawn. Photo credit: Brian Luong

“I think ultimately I think it’s up to us because the older generation really hasn’t done much,” Geiser said. “They’ve known about this issue for over three decades and global emissions have continued to rise the entire time, so I think that the youth are crucial in demanding the political will for climate action.”

The teach-in allowed everyone a short break around noon before continuing with a final group of open-mic speakers.

Scarpa had a call to action for people to combat climate change together.

“Individual action and personal behavior changes aren’t going to save the planet. Collective action is one of our only choices left.”

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