Published : Saturday, September 21, 2019 | 4:52 AM
Sign-carrying students from Pasadena schools and members of the public marched through Pasadena streets and staged an 11-minute “Die-In” on the steps of City Hall Friday.
The point of the staging at Pasadena City Hall, which drew students from Sequoyah, Waverly and Polytechnic as well as other area schools, was to call urgent attention to climate change.
The local efforts were part of a “Global Climate Strike” inspired by Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg. The worldwide event was intended to coincide with the U.N. Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23.
“There were people carrying signs and we protested,” said Ozzy Simpson, Editor in Chief of Sequoyah School’s newspaper, The Barefoot Times. “It was definitely successful. We had about 440 people RSVP but there were definitely a lot of people from Sequoyah and the public.”
Students took the lead for the demonstration, but members of the more mature public spanning all walks of life also joined in the “Die-In,” which was intended to communicate the gravity of climate change.
“I think it’s important because pretty soon climate change will be irreversible,” said Bruno Gutierrez, a Sequoyah sixth grader. “A lot of us want to keep living on this planet and there won’t be a planet if we don’t do something about climate change. There is no Planet B.”
Gutierrez said individuals can help reverse climate change by going vegetarian or vegan and cutting back on electricity usage.
Sequoyah fifth grader Luciana Longhi said she thinks there is an overabundance of plastic goods. She said she tries to pick up plastic straws and bottle cap litter whenever she sees them. But she said Friday was a great team effort.
“I think climate change is a big thing,” she said. “If we change now, there is hope. Today was good, we were changing a lot and there were people going by us honking and saying ‘Yeah!’ It was hot out, but I felt good because we came together.”
Simpson said he was encouraged by the words of Pasadena Vice Mayor Tyron Hampton who also took part in the rally.
Hampton said he was hopeful the City would help reverse the ecological trends and gave a personal example of his own efforts.
“I recently left my pickup truck to go to a fully electric car,” Hampton told the assembled group. “I tell you this because it’s important the City does all it can and that we’re protecting our environment, and we do all we can to protect the environment.”
Simpson said it was a good experience and he was encouraged by the people who watched the march.
“On the way over, people were honking,” he said. “But besides that it was pretty quiet on the way over. Some of the signs said … ‘Are You Satisfied?’ and ‘If you’re not angry you’re not paying attention.’ Overall, everyone seemed to be supportive.”
Longhi said she learned a valuable lesson from the day’s exercise.
“I learned that a lot of people want this to happen and there is power in numbers,” she said. “And we might change people’s minds.”