Hundreds join global Climate Strike in downtown Chico

Julian Mendoza and Carolyn Allen

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Students of all ages and community members gathered for the Chico Climate Strike where they demanded a change in legislation and encouraged others to take action in the fight again our changing climate.

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Hundreds at the Plaza watching the center stage as the day goes by. Photo credit: Julian Mendoza

Chico is one of many cities across over 150 countries participating in the climate strike.

Ready to March

Locals grabbed onto their signs as the march began. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

“Today is the first day of the international climate strike Greta Thunberg, who is a 16-year old Sweedish activist, who’s become this revolutionary leader in the climate movement called for this international climate strike,” said Sofia Lepore of the Climate crisis club the Sunshine Movement. “So today along with millions of others we are striking for the climate.”

The March Begins

Locals started walking out the plaza and headed towards Chico State. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

Throughout the event different members of the community got up to speak about their thoughts on climate change and current laws surrounding sustainability.

Sunrise Movement

Sunrise Movement got the crowd to sing, dance, and get ready for the march. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

Many asked that future leaders be held accountable for their actions and find new ways to improve current laws.

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Mayor of Chico Randall Stone signing an agreement where he will hold himself accountable if he fails to meet his goals to increase sustainabilty. Photo credit: Julian Mendoza

Chico State Student Emily Chiesa was outraged by the current state of our climate and those who reject that it is changing.

 

“I’ve been seeing statistics everywhere about what could happen if we don’t start making changes. It horrifies me and should horrify everyone. How bad this could get and how bad it is now,” said Chiesa.

Ready to March

Locals grabbed onto their signs as the march began. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

Artistic Signs

Students painted their own signs and brought them to the event. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

At the strike there were also a variety of tables and booths promoting sustainable practices including the Butte Environmental Council

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Hundreds at the Plaza watching the center stage as the day goes by. Photo credit: Julian Mendoza

Sam Steadman, an intern for the council as well as a Chico State student, was encouraging people to take up sustainable gardening practices.

“We really want everyone in the Chico community to get involved in sustainability talks,” said Steadman.

Many members of Chico State administration and faculty were also in attendance including President Gayle Hutchinson.

“I see this as a very important day – it’s a global strike but I’m happy to see Chico State and the city participate,” said Hutchinson.

Climate Change Supporters

Many locals held their own signs at the strike. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

The plaza floor was scribbled on with chalk by people who received them from a booth on the south side. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were handed out as well.

Chalk Galore

Ppeople writing their concerns in chalk all over Downtown City Plaza. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

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Listen to the youth Photo credit: Julian Mendoza

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“We are making peace bravery and justice sandwiches here and giving them out to folks,” said Mark Stemen, a professor of geography and planning at Chico State.

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Mark Stemen handing out set the Disobidence Kits. Photo credit: Julian Mendoza

The sandwiches were handed out around noon for break.

“I’m here today with the Extinction Rebellion – we don’t call it climate change, we call it human extinction and we believe the only way to stop it is to get in the streets,” said Stemen.

The table Stemen used to make those sandwiches were next to one with a variety of books, flyers and a box of chalk called the Disobedience Kit – underneath it was a flyer of disobedient slogans. The chalk was free for anybody interested.

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A disobidence kit was handed out, it included a chalk color of your choice and a flyer with slogans to use. Photo credit: Julian Mendoza

“So we’re here advocating non-violent civil disobedience in response to climate change,” said Stemen.

A similar strike happened back in March on campus, where students walked out and voiced their concerns about the status of the climate. Stemen believes that this movement is an extension of that continuing to spread further.

“I think this is the wave that’s been building across the campus and across the town and across the country,” said Stemen.

This time the strike is being organized by more than just students. The town itself is able to take action along with the rest of the nation. One Chico State student is still advocating for climate change after she graduated.

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Sam Steadman (Left) Maggie Scarpa (Right) at the Butte Enviormental Council booth. Photo credit: Julian Mendoza

“I believe that with our governments and institutions, there’s either climate inaction or not enough action done to stop our climate crisis, that’s threatening our ecosystems that are threatening our way of life,” said Maggie Scarpa, one of the Board of Directors at the Butte Environmental Council.

Scarpa ran the previous climate strike in March when she was part-time coordinator of Education And Outreach in the Associated student body, along with Jared Geiser who was the executive vice president of A.S Sustainability at the time.

She continues to advocate for climate change.

“I came out here to mobilize with others to ask and demand for radical change with the way that we consume with the way that we transport things… I came out here with all these people to hopefully demand more,” said Scarpa.

According to her, only 3% of the population needs to be involved in action like this in order to make change.

“So I am hoping this will push us in the right direction locally and globally,” said Scarpa.

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“The Earth will survive will we?” Photo credit: Julian Mendoza

Carolyn Allen and Julian Mendoza can be reached at o[email protected] or on Twitter @carolynallen48 and @JulianMTheOrion.

 

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