San Diegans joined youth climate strike leaders in the midst of December Nights Festivities to demand citywide action on the continuing climate crisis.
SAN DIEGO, CA — Young climate strike leaders called on San Diego City Council to declare a climate emergency and implement a San Diego Green New Deal during a demonstration at December Nights.
Strike leaders took to the Bon Temps Social Club Stage in the Plaza de Panama for a spontaneous announcement to the thousands of festival goers. “We usually try to target politicians because they are the ones who can fulfill our asks, but what we really need is the power of the people united to pressure our elected officials,” explained Leah Spinner, the Actions Organizer for the group. “We decided to do it at December nights, one of the most popular events in San Diego. We are asking all of the people here to help us pressure city council to adopt the Green New Deal for the city and to declare a climate emergency right away.”
Peter Oliver, Gator by the Bay producer and stage emcee, invited Leah and two other organizers, Nikayla Jefferson and Nicolai Reeve, to interrupt the scheduled performance. The strike organizers led the audience for a 10 minute sit in, pointing attention to the landmark climate report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The report warns there are only 11 years for global warming to remain under 1.5 degrees celsius, otherwise exponentially worsening the risks of extreme weather events and exacerbating the migration and poverty of millions of people.
Many attendees joined in the chants and cheered on the strikers as they waited out the 10 minutes in the middle of the dance floor in front of the Bon Temps Social Club Stage. “By calling upon San Diego City Council to declare a climate emergency and pass a Green New Deal, young people are issuing a challenge to the political establishment at large,” explained Nikayla Jefferson. “Either candidates stand with young people to ensure clean air, water, and justice for all, or run the risk of being voted out in the next election.”
The San Diego chapter of the national Sunrise Movement is planning additional sit-ins and actions to pressure the City to meet their demands.