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Striking for the Earth: Climate protest planned for Friday in Grass Valley, Nevada City

A climate change protestor holds a sign in Union Square, San Francisco. On Friday, Nevada County residents like Sharon Delgado are organizing a protest in line with the global climate strike.
Photo by Bob Blob on Unsplash

On Aug. 28, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg arrived on the shores of the U.S.

The Swedish native embarked on a two-week journey sailing the Atlantic to carry the message of the United Nations as well as other nonprofits, foreign governments, the World Health Organization and more: “Climate change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment.”

Thunberg is a climate activist and has come to the United States to promote action to prevent the deterioration of ecosystems around the globe.

In support of Thunberg, author and climate activist Bill McKibben called for a global climate strike beginning Friday. The http://www.350.org website director wants companies to stop emitting fossil fuels and for countries to switch to 100% renewable energy.

On Friday, local minister Sharon Delgado is heeding that call.

The United Methodist minister, author and activist is organizing a climate strike at noon Friday outside of both Nevada City and Grass valley city halls.

Although she doesn’t know how many people will gather, Delgado plans to have people march and hold signs promoting the fight against climate change. She hopes to garner people’s attention during their lunch hour, and to support youth activism.

“The goal isn’t to get the kids to come to our gathering,” she said. “The goal is to provide the space for people to come of all ages.”

Delgado said she contacted the Nevada City and Grass Valley police departments providing details of the protest.

The Sunrise Movement, Auburn chapter — a collective of young people fighting climate change — is coordinating with the Sacramento chapter to protest at the state Capitol during the early afternoon on Friday, according to Auburn’s hub coordinator Joey Renner.

Renner said the chapter will also be organizing “a week of climate action” in Sacramento following Friday’s protest.


Travis Lea, a parent to a student at the Nevada City School of The Arts, is planning to attend the protest with his son.

“We’re pulling him out of school on Friday as a personal decision because we want to support global climate action,” he said, later adding, “It’s a more important lesson in civic engagement than what they will learn in an afternoon at school.”

Angie Maxson-DeFeytor, assistant principal at the Nevada City school, said the school will allow for an early release for parents who want to take their children to the protest.

The school will also be hosting an assembly for students to celebrate Earth, and a few teachers will be holding presentations about climate change.

“This is about the students and their voice and being heard,” she said.

Some other schools in the county don’t have any involvement in the event as of yet.

“It will be a normal school day for (Grass Valley Charter School),” wrote the school’s principal Scott Maddock in an email.

Superintendent of the Nevada Joint Union High School District Brett McFadden said he hasn’t heard any interest from students to protest or hold an activity to speak about taking action against climate change.

“Anything organized, we do want to be able to review it and approve it” to ensure it’s safe and appropriate, he said.

Administrators will work with students if they want to hold some sort of action at school on Friday, said McFadden.

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey email scorey@theunion.com or call 530-477-4219.

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