TACOMA, WA – September 20, 2019 – Local youth and their adult allies will be skipping school and work on Friday and heading to People’s Park at 2pm to partake in the Global Climate Strike day of action. The local chapter of the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) has announced that they will be coming out to support the youth.
“It is a racial justice issue, it is an economic justice issue, it is a vital issue for our children and all of the children of the world,” said Betsy Scott, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Vice President. “We must stand together and demand that our elected officials make the difficult decisions required to save our world before it is too late and we have no more time,” she added.
Inspired by the actions of young Swede Greta Thunberg who held a 3-week strike from school to demand her government take action on climate change, the Climate Strike movement has spread rapidly across the world. Thousands of students have taken to the streets, forcing the resignation of the environment minister in Belgium, causing the Australian Prime Minister to rail against the strikes in parliament, and bringing downtown areas to a halt. The action this Friday is set to be the world’s largest climate mobilization in history, estimated at over 3 million people worldwide.
Here in Tacoma the local chapter of the Sunrise Movement, a mostly college-aged movement which helped bring the Green New Deal to national attention, is spearheading the Tacoma Youth Climate Strike.
“I grew up in Alaskan wilderness, and have watched as the land I love burns from wildfires and collapses from melting permafrost,” said college student Vera, aged 19. “I’m striking because I want my home to be a safe and sustainable place to live.”
The Tacoma Youth Climate Strike will be joined by the Protectors of the Salish Sea’s four-day “Walk to Restore and Protect the Salish Sea” at Tacoma City Hall (747 Market St) around 4pm. After speeches, song, and a water ceremony, the youth will present their climate action demands to City Council members, some of whom have pledged to be there.
“I’m striking to call on our representatives to step it up – we don’t have time for climate delayism when my friends and family are losing their homes and their futures every day to the climate crisis,” said Sunrise organizer Lisa, aged 21.