Global Climate Strike has Sonoma County Students skip School

Last Friday, on Sept. 20, there were youth climate strikes held in Sebastopol and Santa Rosa to encourage more efforts to be made in sustaining a healthy climate.

“Keep that carbon in the soil, no more coal, no more oil.” was one of the chants many shouted whilst marching down Mendocino Avenue toward Downtown Santa Rosa.

Santa Rosa alone had a turnout rate of around 2,000 people actively voicing their concerns about climate change. Many were students, including students who decided to skip class in order to partake in this important matter. 

Global strikes were going on all over Sonoma County, including in Sonoma and Petaluma, ranging from Manhattan to Melbourne last Friday. 

Several Sebastopol High School students left class early Friday as well to be able to partake in the Global Youth Climate Strike, that took place in Sebastopol’s downtown plaza.

Ani Fowler and Anabelle Lampson of Orchard View School, along with Eleanor Jaffe from Alany and Ula Kamastrow from Summerfield School were the organizers of the Sebastopol strike. 

“It’s our future that we’re going to be living in, and the choices that are made being right now will impact us in the future so we need to take a stand and do what is right for our own futures,” says Fowler to Sonoma West Times & News.

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She also mentions how critical it is for our youth to become more engaged on the issue of climate change since future generations depend on it. 

“The youth are standing internationally to protect our future and the future of this beautiful planet,” says organizer Anabelle Lampson to Sonoma West. “We’re so grateful for all the energy and power that’s here today.”

The organizers were thrilled by the number of children who decided to leave school and partake in this event.

“We didn’t know there were going to be so many people,” said Kamastrow to Sonoma West, and that “It’s fantastic.”

Joy Ayodele, a first-year student at Santa Rosa Junior College, said that she feels “very passionately about this, considering I feel like this is being ignored by a lot of the older generation,” and that they “hope it will be really productive at least within our own peers and our own social group,” to the Press Democrat. 

This does not mean that there weren’t any people of older generations to be accounted for; amongst the crowd of people at the Santa Rosa Strike, many were representing their kids of Generation X and baby boomers as well. 

Another student named Francesca Kaszuba, 12, of Rohnert Park, pointed out to the Press Democrat the importance of how by having everyone put in a little effort it can go a long way when regarding environmental health. 

“Right now, with climate change, we’re walking down a path of destruction. The destruction that will be permanent in 10 years,” said Kaszuba, “... it’s crucial that we’re diligent to find different ways to feed ourselves and transport ourselves.”

The outcome of these events was better than expected, and just in time, right before the Climate Action Summit was held on Monday by the United Nations. This does not only prove to them but also us as a global society how much we care about the world we enjoy and create memories in daily. 

Ula Kamastrow tells Sonoma West, “We’re the next generation of voters and farmers and politicians and workers,” she said. “We deserve a clean and sustainable world.”