Protesting climate change, youth take to street in a global strike

MEDFORD, Ore. — Students all over the Rogue Valley walked out of class Friday to speak up against climate change. The demonstrations come three days before world leaders are set to gather at the United Nations for a climate summit.

Dozens of South Medford High School students walked out of school Friday morning, marching through downtown Medford as part of the global climate strike.

“When they walked up I started to get a little teary,” Lillian Koppelman, climate change activist said.

They gathered with other supporters in downtown Medford’s Vogel Plaza.

“Youth are especially active in the fight against climate change because it is our futures that are going to be most affected,” Eliza Viden, South Medford High School student said.

The students said they want Governor Kate Brown to take action on climate change by stopping the Jordan Cove LNG project and pipeline.  They’re also asking her to support an Oregon green new deal.

“We want the earth to be alive and healthy and well for as long as it can feasibly be,” Jerrihaun Robinson, South Medford High School student said.

In Ashland, a couple hundred gathered in the downtown area to stand in solidarity.

“We don’t have a reason to go to school if you’re going to destroy our planet and it is not our responsibility to be standing up for this but if you won’t we will,” Mira Saturen, youth activist said.

While the group ranges from middle schoolers to high schoolers, they said any support no matter what age will help protect mother earth.

“For their children and the next seven generations so that they have a place to live,” Maria Gerolaga, climate change activist said.

Friday’s rally had mostly climate action supporters but many took to NBC5’s social media to question the student’s intentions and knowledge of the issue.

Meanwhile, people in support of the LNG project said it will create thousands of jobs in Oregon and help Asia transition away from coal to natural gas.

Students who chose to walk out Friday are being marked with an unexcused absence.

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