Student Strike & Climate Action Week

Our house is on fire, and it’s time to act.

These sentiments are shared among members of the Corvallis Climate Action Alliance in preparation for Climate Action Week, on September 20 – 27. Communities across the globe will unite in protests, rallies, marches, and educational events geared at fighting the climate crisis from the ground up. The CCAA is a conglomerate of various groups and individuals throughout the community acting and advocating for climate justice. Members span between representatives from local science and environmental groups, faith communities, city leaders, and more.

“For any significant, lasting change to occur, it must be driven from the ground up,” comments Connor Robson, Senior Class President at Crescent Valley High School. “Change must be impacted in society at the municipal level, when state and federal governments remain gridlocked.”

A student lead community strike organized by area youth will kick off climate action week on September 20. Students will leave local high schools at 12:15 p.m. to converge on the Corvallis High School football field, where community members are welcome to hear from student speakers (TBD). The speakers will then lead trains of strikers to City Hall, where Mayor Biff Traber will answer questions and hear concerns from the community. More speakers will address the crowd before a “die-in” at City Hall, then students will disperse to local businesses that support the strike.The event’s finale will take place at the CHS-CV Rivalry football game, where students will wear signs and recite a speech at half-time.

Anyone with questions or concerns about the climate strike are welcome to a public informational meeting at the CHS Theater on September 19 at 7 p.m., where student organizers will be available to address reasons and plans for the strike.

Following the strike will be a series of events hosted at various locations around the city, including film screenings, educational events, and opportunities for healthy eating and supporting businesses.

On September 27, there will be a community march organized by the CCAA. The march will meet at the Riverfront Commemorative Park at 2 NW 1st Street, where there will be music and speakers, and the opportunity to sign a petition from CCAA with goals for climate action, to be delivered to City Hall.

Community members are encouraged to bring signs and to travel by bus, bike, or by walking whenever possible. The CCAA hopes that neighborhoods and groups will organize for the event, and suggests carpooling when necessary. Sign making workshops will be held for anyone interested, and there will be some signs available for community members at the event.

Though these events will last a week, climate action in Corvallis will blaze on, as the CCAA says we’ve reached a turning point where action is no longer a choice. Their efforts for Climate Action Week are largely a show of support and solidarity for area youth leading the cause and fighting a future on fire. 

“Climate change is such a jarring issue, it is difficult to feel like you can stop it,” says Mae Curtis, Co-president of CHS Green Club. “It feels so much bigger than all of us. Which is why we need the whole community involved — everyone has something to bring to the table.” 

Aidan Evans, the Green Club’s second Co-president, implores, “I used to worry about if I would go to college, then I worried about what is happening to the planet. Now I am done worrying, it is time to act!”

Volunteers for Climate Action Week are still needed. If interested in getting involved, contact climateactionweekcorvallis@gmail.com. For information about events and the CCAA, visit http://corvallisclimateaction.weebly.com or contact.

By Stevie Beisswanger