On September 20, people all around the world were striking in order to bring awareness to climate change. In Walla Walla, people left school, work, and everyday life to meet at Whitman College Memorial Hall and march down to the court house. People marched wearing bright colors and holding posters related to climate change. The strike was organized by the Walla Walla Chapter Sunrise Movement, a national organization aimed at ending climate change. When strikers arrived at the courthouse there were speeches given by Sunrise members, WWPS (Walla Walla Public Schools) students, and Walla Walla climate activists. They expressed their care for the environment and what we can do in Walla Walla to help.
During the strike, students and adults walked through the streets of downtown Walla Walla chanting sayings such as, “What do we want? Climate justice. When do we want it? Now!” And, holding signs expressing their goal of this strike. While the strike was peaceful and went without harm, it was also urgent. “Stop denying our earth is dying!” Was written on cardboard protesters held. Referring to the idea that we cannot deny the facts and the science.
This strike was especially a big deal because it was youth led. Although there were adults it was mainly college students and high school students. “My country isn’t making legal decisions to go toward a green plan, and within the next 10 years our world is going to be screwed,” said Garrison Middle School student Jefferson Adams Lopez.
WA-Hi also had their own climate walk out at 10:12 a.m. This was organized by WA-Hi’s green club. In front of the Commons speeches were given by Daisy Moore and Elsa Gomsrud who are both seniors at WA-Hi. They expressed the importance of what’s going on in our world and what we can do to help. Roughly 60-100 students attended to express their concern.
Overall, this was a great turn out for the first Walla Walla climate strike. Some demands we must meet are reducing carbon emissions by 45%, using 85% renewable energy and stop using coal entirely, and planting new forests the size of Canada. Although these demands may seem unreasonable to reach, we have gotten ourselves into this mess and this is what we need to do to get out of it.