Photo Story: CSUN community skips class to join climate strike

Students%2C+professors+and+community+members+march+side+by+side%2C+united+by+the+fear+of+the+catastrophic+effects+of+climate+change.+Photo+credit%3A+Elaine+Sanders
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Photo Story: CSUN community skips class to join climate strike

Students, professors and community members march side by side, united by the fear of the catastrophic effects of climate change. Photo credit: Elaine Sanders

Students, professors and community members march side by side, united by the fear of the catastrophic effects of climate change. Photo credit: Elaine Sanders

Students, professors and community members march side by side, united by the fear of the catastrophic effects of climate change. Photo credit: Elaine Sanders

Students, professors and community members march side by side, united by the fear of the catastrophic effects of climate change. Photo credit: Elaine Sanders

Elaine Sanders and Alexia Mersola

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Students and faculty gathered in front of the Oviatt Library on Friday, Sept. 20 to participate in the Global Climate Strike in order to spur political action for climate change.

The Global Climate Strike is an event consisting of climate change protests from Sept. 20-27 around the world. The strikers hope to influence the U.N. specifically, in order to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement by all countries.

CSUN students and faculty began their protest at 10:30 a.m. as they walked out of their Friday classes in unity, rallying to show their support for new climate-based policies.

“We all have one thing in common: the Earth,” Andrea Gonzales, a wildlife biologist graduate student, said. “And I think that connects us across different nations, across different nationalities, across different backgrounds.”

When asked why the rally was so important, Gonzales said, “The U.N. is meeting tomorrow and it’s an 18-month process, so the important thing is creating awareness. We’re make sure these issues are brought to these meetings and to people in power who can make this change.”

Professor David Klein, director of the climate science program, and other faculty were just as involved with the march as students, and even had stories to tell based on their personal experiences with climate change. Many other protesters had their chance at the podium, speaking of the kind of change that is necessary in order to reverse the climate crisis.

But how does one fight climate change alone?

“Take the fight to the main people, like CEOs of the fossil fuel industry, the ones that are causing such devastating amounts of pollution,” Gonzales said. “I think it’s really important to bring the fight to them. I think that will be the really long-lasting change, because when we take the fight to these people, we are really saying that we won’t take it anymore. Change will really come when we start changing the politics themselves, not the climate.”

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Photo credit: Elaine Sanders

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Climate strikers make it known that they will not stay quiet until change has been made to put the environment first. Photo credit: Elaine Sanders

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David Klein, a CSUN mathematics professor and the director of the CSUN climate science program, helped run the event while also providing insight into the statistics of climate change. Photo credit: Elaine Sanders

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CSUN alumni Miles Lewis addresses the crowd in a factual manner speaking of his experience as an environmental educator and artist. Photo credit: Elaine Sanders

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Sister Angela Faustina (blue hat) and Sister Linda Snow (tan hat) made sure to represent the Sisters of St. Joseph as the rest of the group was unable to make it to the strike. Photo credit: Elaine Sanders

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Viveka Rucker, a CSUN alumna, returns to CSUN to share her experiences with naturalistic medicine and to say that there are alternatives that need to be pursued. Photo credit: Elaine Sanders

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Nicholas Priddy works on making sure that the university president does not sign a deal with Pepsi which would allow the corporation to sell single-use plastics on campus and condition students to depend on these plastics. Photo credit: Elaine Sanders

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Dr. Edie Pistolesi, a professor of art education, takes pictures with her students while encouraging them to stay active through strikes such as this one as well as though their art.

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As a board member of the group Save Porter Ranch, Richard Mathews spoke of the gas leak his community has faced, claiming that it has been the biggest environmental injustice the U.S. has seen. Photo credit: Elaine Sanders

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Protesters of all ages listen to Dr. Edie Pistolesi speak in front of Sierra Hall. Photo credit: Elaine Sanders

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The youngest member to the climate strike, Nicole, ate cheerios from a reusable cup as she watched her fellow protesters speak. Photo credit: Elaine Sanders

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Dr. David McCarty-Caplan gave a powerful speech stating that climate change is disproportionately affecting lower income and poverty stricken people and that climate change is just as much a social issue as it is an environmental one. Photo credit: Elaine Sanders

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Protesters march on Nordhoff Street while cars honk with encouragement. Photo credit: Elaine Sanders

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The group marched from the Oviatt lawn to the Orange Grove Bistro and back, shouting chants such as "What do we want? The Green New Deal! When do we want it? Now!" and "Hey hey, ho ho, fossil fuels have got to go!" Photo credit: Elaine Sanders