Youth vs. Apocalypse Climate Strike at Oakland City Hall

OAKLAND — Arian Terani, a Skyline High senior, hoped to lure passersby to the youth climate strike in front of City Hall on Friday. So he donned a rainbow unicorn onesie and facepaint to evoke positive curiosity as he walked around Frank Ogawa Plaza.

“I feel like if they see a bunch of people they may think, ‘Oh, it’s just another strike,’ but if they see something colorful, maybe make it like, ‘Oh, it’s a positive thing,’ ” Terani said. “I’m representing my school, Skyline High School, and we’re here to talk about pollution, homelessness, coal usage and climate justice as well. … I talk to a lot of people, including my own parents; they don’t know the stuff that we learned in school. It’s for teaching others so they could be more mindful.”

Grownups like Dan Kalb, Oakland City District 1 council member, showed up in solidarity of the demonstration, part of the global Fridays for Future protest.

“The youth of our region are here to say no coal, no air pollution —  not just in Oakland — but anywhere in the Bay Area. Anywhere in the country. Anywhere in the world,” Kalb said.

“Coal and other forms of air pollution and other forms of environmental health problems have got to stop. This is a gathering, one of many gatherings where the youth of our city, of our region, of our country are saying, ‘Enough is enough.’ So I’m here not to be a leader but to take a lead from our youth.”

Kalb is the exact kind of powerbroker students like Leela Korde, a seventh-grader at Northern Light School, wanted to reach with their September 23rd action.

“Officially we are declaring that we are not going to be part of this oppression,” Korde said, referring to the multitude of adverse health and social effects caused by humanmade environmental pollution.

“We’re trying our hardest to talk to our representatives and people who are in power that could help us create different laws that decrease the amount of fossil fuels that are being consumed,” she said.

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