LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Hundreds of people assembled in downtown Los Angeles and around the Southland today for Global Climate Strike events aimed at raising awareness of climate change, including some students who walked out of school to take part in the event.
Los Angeles Unified School District officials discouraged students from leaving campuses, instead encouraging on-campus climate-related events. Superintendent Austin Beutner and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti were among those set to visit schools and talk to students about the issue.
But the district's stay-in-school message wasn't completely unified. LAUSD Board of Education member Nick Melvoin wrote on Twitter, “Sending my full support to all the students in Los Angeles and across the world walking out today to demand action on global climate change -- the passion and courage of these young leaders gives me so much hope for our future.”
Beutner and LAUSD board president Monica Garcia met with students at Multnomah Street Elementary School, where students took part in climate-related activities. Garcetti and Beutner were expected to visit students taking part in an on-campus rally at Marshall High School Friday afternoon. Garcetti will announce the creation of a Youth Council on Climate Action at the event.
Despite the calls for students to remain on campus, some opted to leave, most notably at Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, where a planned walkout occurred.
Participants in the Global Climate Strike event in downtown Los Angeles began gathering at Pershing Square late Friday morning in advance of the midday rally. Other strike events were scheduled at City Hall, USC, Westchester, Santa Monica, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Sherman Oaks, North Hollywood, Pasadena, Long Beach, Anaheim, Tustin, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Claremont.
Similar gatherings were being held throughout the country and around the world, with participants calling for worldwide action to address reliance on fossil fuels and action to improve the environment.
The event is being held in advance of next week's United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York.
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