SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU/AP) - Students in the Bay Area planned to join millions of other young people across the globe to rally against global warming and climate change.
Students at UC Berkeley, and at schools in Oakland, Berkeley, Menlo Park and Palo Alto, converged at places including Sproul Plaza and in San Francisco to participate.
”As far as im’ concerned it’s the number one issue humans are facing," said Connor Pollak, one of the UC Berkeley organizers who noted that glaciers are melting and fires are raging.
Christina Park, a representative of the California Public Interest Research Group, said Cal students are asking university departments to integrate climate justice into their curricula and "to empower climate action across disciplines."
"The climate crisis is the largest threat our world faces today," Park said, "and will impact on our generation’s survival. The time for dramatic action is now."
Park said the list of student demands include having legislators declare climate change an emergency, implementing the Green New Deal, divesting from the fossil fuel market and to recommit to its goal of carbon neutrality by 2025.
In San Francisco, students planned to walk past House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office on 7th Street and then march past U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office on Post Street. The route also included stops at the PG&E building, the ICE building and Bank of America.
"The youth are tired of complacency and propaganda," according to a statement from Youth vs. Apocalypse. "We are taking to the streets, unified, to send the message that the climate crisis is real and we will not rest until bold action is taken to address it. We will yell, we will scream, and we will cry for our future."
One of the members of that group is Isha Clarke of Oakland, who already took Feinstein on in February in a now-viral exchange over shifting U.S. resources from fossil fuels to wind and solar polar, which was captured on video.
Even before the Bay Area students woke up, young people in towns and cities stemming from the Australia to the Czech Republic, who already protesting, carrying signs that read: "More love, less coal," ''Science, not silence," or "Why should we go to universities when they don't listen to the educated?"
The rallies even took place in the Afghan capital Kabul, where people are dying every day in horrific bomb attacks, but still, the young generation there is worried that if war doesn't kill them, climate change will.
About 100 young people, with several young women in the front carrying a banner emblazoned with "Fridays for future", marched through central Kabul, following behind an armored personnel carrier deployed for their protection as well as half a dozen army personnel with automatic rifles scattered behind them and along the route.
Fardeen Barakzai, one of the organizers and head of the local save-the-climate group called Oxygen said "we want to do our part. We as the youth of our country know the problem of climate change. We know war can kill a group of people ... the problem in Afghanistan is our leaders are fighting for power but the real power is in nature."
For the full list of climate strikes, click here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.