Hundreds turned out in front of the big orange chair in Seaside on Friday as part of a Global Climate Strike observed in cities throughout the world.
The event, three days before the United Nations climate action summit, attracted students, activists, drummers and sign-carriers, drawing honks of approval and waves from drivers supportive of the cause. Local organizers from Indivisible North Coast Oregon led the chants and calls for action in Oregon and Washington, D.C.
Seaside’s Mary Blake described the crowd as “a combination of our community of all the different ages and enthusiasm and knowledge and will to speak to the No. 1 issue on our planet.”
Carolyn Zimmerman, from Longview, Washington, and Chris Williams, from Rockaway Beach, raised signs to passing cars.
“We knew this was happening and had to be here,” Williams said.
Father Symeon Hadley, an Eastern Orthodox priest and Cannon Beach resident, said he attended because of his “concern for Mother Earth and to raise awareness and support for dealing with climate change.”
Clatsop County Commissioner Lianne Thompson called for bringing an approach of “love and respect” to the climate debate. “We have to save the planet and save the people,” she said. “Saving the planet is a team sport. We have to save the team.”
Seaside high schoolers Amelia Gastelum, Kierra Gastelum and Tatum LaPlante were among the students who carpooled to Broadway and Roosevelt for the event.
“It’s definitely a crisis,” LaPlante said. “Especially since we are younger, we’re going to be growing up. It’s very important we make the world last as long as we can. We want to have families and we want to have a world our families can grow up in.”