(From press release) Youth leaders from Yolo County led a colorful all-ages march today in central Davis to protest the city’s failure to address the climate emergency. The marchers made their way from the library to central park and the city hall, mirroring thousands of actions across the world on September 23 organized by the #FridaysforFuture movement.
The young marchers denounced the city council and administration for their failure to listen to the demands of young people and for not giving them a seat at the table in the planning and delivery of the city’s new Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.
“We young people are the most impacted by climate change and yet our demands for action and change have consistently fallen on deaf ears in the City of Davis,” said Eliot Larson, coordinator of Fridays for Future Davis.
“We have just faced a record heatwave with unbearable temperatures a couple of weeks ago. Yet our elected officials are still not treating this crisis as an emergency. They hold our future - whether we have a liveable planet or not - in their hands. The Earth’s clock is ticking. We cannot and will not wait until 2035 or 2030 for change to come. We have to act boldly now,” said sixteen-year old Larson.
Among the marchers is nine-year old Minsa Ali Muhammad, a student at Spring Lake Elementary in Woodland, whose family in Pakistan has seen their village, orchards, livestock, schools and places of worship devastated by unprecedented climate-induced flooding. Her ancestral homeland of Chitral is in the path of melting Himalayan glaciers. Recent glacial outbursts - flooding that sends rocks, mud and debris downstream –have displaced hundreds of families that are now living in tents.
“We have to do everything we can to stop climate change. We have to do a better job of taking care of our Earth,” said Muhammad who called for emergency, solidarity action and is collecting funds for flood victims.
The marchers attempted to deliver a letter to Davis Mayor Lucas Frerichs with an updated list of priority climate actions, but he told organizers of today’s march he was unavailable. After staging a “die-in” in Central Park symbolizing the loss of animal and plant species and harm to life-sustaining ecosystems, young people shared their hopes, fears and frustration at the city’s lack of action.
Mattias Rowenbale, who attended the strike in 2019 and is now a senior at Davis High and the President of the school’s Environmental Club said, “I was in awe of this movement and the passion of the people of Davis. But today I am filled with anger. It’s hard to see a way forward. It’s hard to show the officials in Davis that they can have an impact. But we must. We are just one community, but we CAN make a difference and set an example for the world.”
- FOR MORE INFORMATION EMAIL Davis@fridaysforfutureusa.org, @fridaysforfuturedavis Instagram or call 530-902-8407
- Additional photos and video footage are available upon request. Photo captions in order of appearance in this release are: Eliot Larson leading today’s march in central Davis; Nine-year old Minsa Ali Muhammad collecting funds for schoolchildren in flood-ravaged Pakistan; Mattias Rowenable opened the march with a statement acknowledging the three federally-recognized Wintun Nation tribes of this region; Davis high school students join today’s strike in Central Park.
- Letter delivered to City of Davis with list of ten priority actions https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JYBjRhuLc6uQZstMrqyjUpJjQXr_r5JXUMUu_dKCPLY/edit?usp=sharing
- Support relief efforts in Pakistan by donating here: https://mass-edu.org
- Draft Davis Climate Action and Adaptation Plan: https://www.cityofdavis.org/sustainability/2020-climate-action-and-adaptation-plan-caap
- Read more about the strike held in 2019 https://www.davisvanguard.org/2019/09/davis-sacramento-climate-strikes-draw-thousands/
- Visit @fridaysforfuturedavis on Instagram