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Students plan Friday walkout over climate change

Hundreds of students from around the Bay Area are planning to walk out of school on Friday to demand urgent action on climate change. The strike is part of the global Youth Climate Strike calling for politicians to take immediate measures to stave off an impending climate disaster.

Hannah Estrada, a San Francisco high school student, said:

“Scientists have repeatedly told us we need to act on it. … No one seems to want to fight for my future. If no one wants to fight for me, I’m going to have to fight for myself.”

Hannah, 15, was one of several youths who gathered Sunday at Art Build in San Francisco to make posters and prepare for the strike.

Local high school and middle school students from Oakland, San Francisco, Marin County and the Peninsula are planning to rally at 10 a.m. Friday in front of U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s office in downtown San Francisco. From there they will march past the office of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

The students are calling on both Feinstein and Pelosi to back the Green New Deal, as introduced by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D-NY. A group of youth activists recently demanded Feinstein’s support of the Green New Deal and were initially rejected in an interaction at her San Francisco office that went viral.

The students are then planning to rally at Union Square, where speakers will talk about the urgent need for the Green New Deal. Hundreds of similar strikes by youth are planned in an estimated 75 countries.

Youth Climate Strike organizers in the U.S. are calling for Congress to adopt the Green New Deal and declare a national emergency of climate change.

A statement on the group’s website said:

“We, the youth of America, are striking because decades of inaction has left us with just 11 years to change the trajectory of the worst effects of climate change, according to the October 2018 UN IPCC Report.”

The statement added:

“We are striking because our world leaders have yet to acknowledge, prioritize or properly address our climate crisis.”

The site also calls for a halt to fossil fuel infrastructure projects, preserving public lands and wildlife and keeping water supply systems clean.

The strikers are also calling for setting emission standards and benchmarks for reducing greenhouse gases.

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