I attended my local Climate Strike! in Paso Robles on Friday, Sept. 20—as did 10 million people, locally and around the globe. Our event was one of several on the Central Coast in San Luis Obispo County. It was organized by local high school students and attended by 60-plus people, about half seniors and half students. It started at 8:30 a.m., and lunch was served at noon.
It was both inspiring and frustrating. The speakers and singers were inspiring. The younger speakers called for action; the academics shared stories about science and nature.
Minor frustrations included inexperienced chant leaders and comments from the crowd that could scarcely be heard because the emcee didn't urge them to use the mic. Those can be fixed with experience.
Bigger frustrations: As I worked the crowd introducing myself as the editor of the SLO Co. Social Justice eNews and gathered email addresses, I noticed that we had no public officials present—no one from City Council, no city employees (except some of the high school teachers). Part of the problem, no doubt, was that the city participated in the SLO County Creeks to Coast Cleanup at the same time, as part of National CleanUp Day, so some of the Earth-friendly folks may have been there.
Secondly, there wasn't any media there. Granted, our sole county TV station may have been at one of the other strikes, and our local radio stations are not known for their news coverage. We'll see if we get any space in the North County weekly newspapers. One friend heard about the strike on the local conservative AM station—both pros and cons. I heard about it on Facebook.
More strikes are scheduled for Friday, Sept. 27. We'll have a big one at the county courthouse in San Luis Obispo from 5 to 7 p.m. If you missed your local strike, catch the next one for sure!
Gerald "Jerry" Iversen