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C.O. youth activists plan digital climate change demonstration

Bend climate change protest 1206
KTVZ file

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- On Wednesday the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, Deschutes Youth Climate Congress, with cosponsoring organizations Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Indivisible Bend, Vocal Seniority, 350Deschutes, and Sierra Club Juniper Group, are joining worldwide demonstrations to demand government action in addressing climate change.

Given the pandemic the world is facing today, these demonstrations and international ones like it will be held digitally.

The Central Oregon Digital Climate Strike will take place over three days, the first focusing around striking from home, with participants posting pictures of themselves with signs protesting climate change from within their homes, with hashtag #StrikeFromHome and tagging @co_youthclimatestrike on Instagram and @coyouthclimatestrike on Facebook.

The strike will have a lineup of speakers including U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, 2020 Secretary of State candidate Jamie McLeod-Skinner, District Attorney John Hummel, State Senate candidate Eileen Kiely, snowboarder Austin Smith, and several youth activists involved with the event.

These speakers will be posting videos and hosting live streams on social media of their speeches, as well as answering questions submitted the day before. These will be found on Instagram at @co_youthclimatestrike, and on Facebook at @coyouthclimatestrike.

The second day will focus on calling your representatives and demanding action on climate change, with information and tips being posted to social media with this goal. On the third and final day of the strike, the YCC will post creative submissions of art, songs, or anything else that participants from our community have created for the strike on Instagram at @co_youthclimatestrike and on Facebook at @coyouthclimatestrike.

The protest will demand the following climate change mitigation strategies for Central Oregon and the state as a whole:

  • Protect and move forward with Bend’s Community Climate Action Plan legislation
  • Pass mandatory measures to ensure the environmental friendliness of buildings and institutions like an energy audit.
  • Protect and move forward with Governor Brown’s Oregon Climate Action Plan legislation to provide a path to success in halting Climate Change in Central Oregon.
  • An end to our representatives in the state Senate not participating in sessions in order to bypass our democracy.
  • Pass subsidies for zero-emission energy sources to encourage the usage of energy without a carbon footprint.
  • Move to replace the power previously generated by Boardman Coal Plant with power from zero-emission sources ahead of its decommissioning in 2020.

The protest will also demand the following climate change mitigation strategies the United States, in coordination with movements across the country:

  • Pass a Green New Deal outlining basic pathways to create climate change mitigation legislation.
  • Declare Climate Change a national emergency.
  • Update water and electric grids to avoid another crisis like the one in Flint, Michigan.
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