Global Climate Strike comes to Claremont

Over 100 people of all ages demonstrated in front of Claremont city hall Friday as part of the Global Climate Strike.

The event seeks to bring attention to what strikers see as a global climate crisis. The crowd of mostly young people held signs, chanted and drew chalk art on the ground with slogans such as “denial is not a policy,” “Our home, our future,” and “walk now, swim later.”

Claremont’s event was put together by 16-year-old Eila Planinc, a Claremont High School junior who was ready with a list of demands, including the acceptance of the Green New Deal, turning the economy into 100 percent renewable energy, respecting indigenous land, protecting biodiversity and sustainable agriculture.

“We protest today three days before the UN climate summit,” she said. “And so we’re hoping with 5,000 protests happening across the world we’re going to get some action on this.”

As a young person, Eila says she is “terrified” about the effects of climate change that could happen in her lifetime, which could mean moving out of California due to excessive heat and other people leaving their countries.

“I’m just really scared that it’s going to come to a point in ten years—because we only have ten years—to the point where it’s no longer reversible and only the few and the rich are going to survive this crisis,” she said.

Many of Eila’s classmates at CHS were also there. Parents signed some students out so they could attend, while others would be marked as truant.

Sustainable Claremont’s Freeman Allen was also in attendance, telling the COURIER that he was concerned with what could happen with climate change as time goes by.

“I also see there’s a great range of people here, all the way from students to people like me,” Mr. Allen said. “And I think that’s very encouraging. It would be great if the whole community gets behind this.”

The strike ran from 9 a.m. to noon. At around 10 a.m. a 10-second moment of silence was observed, signifying the purported 10 years the world has left to address climate change.

Afterward, speakers stood on top of a stone bench in front of city hall to make speeches about the need to combat the climate issue. The speakers included Councilmember Jennifer Stark, who was there with her daughter Ruby.

Eila herself has seen her peers doing their part to cut back on their own consumption habits, including adopting vegan and vegetarian diets and recycling. She also praised California for fighting the Trump administration on the issue of auto emission regulations.

“I’m really proud that we as Californians can do something like that,” she said. “That we believe that climate change exists and we’re ready to do something about it.”

One person doing their part is Marleigh Brown, 21, of Chino Hills. She held a sign featuring a drawing of Earth as a bomb with a lit fuse, along with the slogan “we don’t have time.”

She started an Instagram page, @pride_of_earth, where she and her girlfriend document the trash they pick up in and around their area. Her focus is to show how much trash accumulates in the hillsides near her neighborhood.

While the climate issue can seem depressing, she said, people could still do something about it.

“You just have to buck up take it one day at a time, and do the things you can do to contribute,” she said. “Because that’s all we can do.”

Matthew Bramlett



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