Environment

SLO County students to join national walkout, demanding action on climate change

Hundreds of SLO High students walk out to protest gun violence

Hundreds of students walk out of class at San Luis Obispo High School as part of the National Walkout for Gun Safety on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. The 17-minute protests unfolded at hundreds of schools across the country.
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Hundreds of students walk out of class at San Luis Obispo High School as part of the National Walkout for Gun Safety on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. The 17-minute protests unfolded at hundreds of schools across the country.

Local college and high school students will walk out of class Friday in a protest to demand “aggressive action on climate change.”

Students from six schools — Cal Poly, Cuesta, San Luis Obispo High, Mission Prep, Morro Bay High, and Templeton High — all will participate in the rally organized nationally by the group Youth Climate Strike.

“When the United Nations came out with the climate report, saying that by 2030 the effects of climate change could be irreversible, that means we need to do something about it right now, before it’s too late,” said 17-year-old Alexa Ford, a student walkout organizer from Morro Bay High.

The list of demands issued by the students include the following:

ClimateStrike.jpeg
Local students announce the upcoming walkout, called the Youth Climate Strike. Carmen Bouquin

Students from four schools — Cal Poly, Cuesta, San Luis Obispo High, Mission Prep — will protest outside the County Government Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., said Carmen Bouquin, a rally coordinator.

Bouquin, 19, said she was was arrested last summer as part of a group that protested in front of Jerry Brown’s office to ban fossil fuels.

Students in Templeton and Morro Bay will hold shorter walkouts at their campuses at 9:45 a.m.

Speakers are expected to address key concerns about the state of the environment, locally and nationally.

“Climate change disproportionately affects marginalized people,” said Bouquin, a Cuesta student. “It will affect my generation the most. We won’t always have a livable future and our peers won’t as well if we don’t act.”

The movement was started by 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who left her class and sat out front of the Swedish Parliament building in August 2018. Her protest spawned the #FridaysforFuture movement in Europe.

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Nick Wilson covers the city of San Luis Obispo and has been a reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo since 2004. He also writes regularly about K-12 education, Cal Poly, Morro Bay and Los Osos. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley and is originally from Ojai.
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