Friday’s rally thought to prepare the way for an even larger Saturday downtown climate march.
Students and young people from across San Antonio turned out in strong numbers to a local expression of the Global Climate Strike today. More than 100 chanted and lifted signs while more than a dozen took turns on the microphone calling for a global retreat from fossil fuels and institution of a clean energy economy with climate justice for all. The event precedes what is expected to be a much larger rally and march tomorrow, also at Main Plaza and moving through downtown to a rally point at Hemisfair. (Event details here.)
“It was incredibly inspiring to see so many young people turn out today,” said SA-based organizer Briauna Barrera, who MC’d the event. “It’s even more inspiring that students and young people in general are ready to call out the root problems of the climate crisis we face, like capitalism and colonization, and are ready and willing to take collective action.”
Other event organizers expressed similar enthusiasm.
“Youth showing up during the hot Friday afternoon only shows one thing: determination to create change,” said Parth Gwahgwahe, a high school organizer with the ocean-focused international NGO Defend the Depths.
“Participation by all of San Antonio is necessary to make sure that we meet the city’s goals under the Paris agreement, and farther than that,” said event co-organizer Peter Bella. “There is no other time to act. Now is the time to act.”
Below is an assortment of photographs from the day. Below that is a copy of the livestream recording of the speakers who bravely stepped to the mic, many for the first time in their lives. Mad pride for display of courage and conviction brought by all. We are with you.
Meanwhile, a funny thing happened on the way to climate justice. Through a side door during the rally in a 2pm meeting of San Antonio Council’s Health & Equity Committee, members of City Council gathered to discuss the evolving Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP).
Councilmember Manny Pelaez, who had previously pledged his vote on the matter to Valero Energy, said the science of global warming is irrefutable. He chronicled in some detail warming’s incredible hazards, blasted the misguided and manipulative climate denialist movement, voiced his full support for the CAAP, and (further) asked for the privilege of bringing the request for passage to the full Council on October 17, 2019.
While some, including us at Deceleration have serious concerns about City-owned CPS Energy’s dangerous weakening of the plan, it appears the CAAP’s equity committee has concerns of their own. An open letter signed by the majority of committee members was read into the minutes by Diana Lopez of the Southwest Workers Union.
See Lopez deliver her statement here.
Read the statement:
In his comments, COSA Chief Sustainability Officer Doug Melnick told the Council members present that he intends to work with the Equity Committee members to respond to their concerns.
Meanwhile, we should note the Global Climate Strike didn’t begin with the afternoon bang at Main Plaza. Rather, it had something of a soft opening at 9am when students from the ALA Climate Club and Fuerza Unida’s youth program gathered for a morning Teach-In. You can hear Fuerza’s bold message and listen to ALA’s sung protest at my Facebook page. A few images are included below. The amazing banner comes courtesy of Alvaro Rafael.