Several hundred students and environmental activists converged on Los Angeles City Hall to take part in a worldwide school walkout Friday to call for more aggressive action on fighting climate change.
Matilda Oberman, a freshman at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, joined the rally holding a sign referencing a 2018 report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that concluded world leaders only have 11 more years to avoid disastrous levels of global warming. Her sign, also referencing the David Bowie 1970s song “Five Years” about humans learning the Earth only had five years left before dying, crossed out the word “five” from the lyrics and replaced it with 11.
“I also kind of want to live past 35, maybe if I have anything going for me. But that’s what my plan is right now,” Oberman told City News Service about her reasons for leaving school and coming to the rally. She also said she faced possible suspension or detention for taking part in the rally and ditching class, but that she believed it was worth the risk to help bring about change.
According to the Youth Climate Strike website, which helped organize the protests in the U.S., American youth supporting the movement want a national embrace of the Green New Deal, an end to fossil fuel infrastructure projects and a number of other aggressive actions on climate change.
“We want comprehensive government action on climate change that is coherent with the real facts and statistics. We want to fight against lobbying and corruption in our government,” Mason Lee, a junior at the Buckley School, told CNS.
Protests are also happening in at least several dozen other California cities, Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., dozens of European capitals, New Zealand, India and elsewhere.