Anacortes students walk out for climate action

A group of students stood with signs on Commercial Street calling for climate action, both local and international.

A group of Anacortes High School students walked out of their virtual and in-person classes just before noon on Friday, March 19, to take to the street and demand climate action.

The local strike was in support of the international movement Fridays for the Future, which aims to reduce global temperature rise by demanding ends to investment in fossil fuels, establishing binding carbon budgets and making ecocide an international crime.

Caitlin Brar, a student who helped organize the walkout, said the group is also calling on the City of Anacortes to declare a climate emergency.

An emergency declaration over climate would be especially meaningful in a town that is home to two oil refineries and would show that the local government is not influenced by multinational oil corporations, Brar said.

There are limits to what the city can do, but such a declaration can show unity and lead other cities to start taking steps for the climate, as well.

Brar, a junior, said she wants to study environmental policy in college.

Allie Perez, a senior and president of the Activist Student Union, said a climate emergency declaration signals to the community the urgency of the issue.

Even though the Biden Administration has rejoined the Paris Agreement, climate change should still be at the forefront of everyone’s minds, Perez said.

Perez, who plans to study journalism and communication in Prague after graduation, intends to make her voice heard as a high school student.

“While we are a small group of ragtag kids, our voices are important,” she said. “We’re fighting for our future, and we’re running out of time.”

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I cover health, environment, business and more at the Anacortes American. Feel free to send me tips at qinghram [at] goanacortes.com.

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