Students and residents of San Luis Obispo County gathered today outside the County Government Center in a demonstration that urged for climate change initiatives.

The protest was organized independently by a few Cal Poly and Cuesta College students. The demonstration was inspired by FridaysForFuture, an international movement that organizes “strikes” to protest the lack of climate change policies. The demonstration in San Luis Obispo, however, was independent from FridaysForFuture.

Carolyne Sysmans | Mustang News

“It was just me and a few friends — maybe six to 10 people — going to hold a few signs out here,” demonstration organizer and Cal Poly alumnus Brandon O’Rourke. “Somehow, we found someone else who was also organizing for Cuesta and Morro Bay, independently, and we decided to get together.”

Attendees carried signs advocating for environmental protection, intended to influence both local and national legislation. 

“I’m out here because I care about the environment and I want a future for all of us here as well as my future kids,” San Luis Obispo resident and attendee Emily DesJardin said. “Life matters, but our life is minimal compared to the life of this earth.”

Carolyne Sysmans | Mustang News

The demonstration, O’Rourke said, is long overdue. Grassroots movements, such as the one in San Luis Obispo, are the key to inciting wider change.

“It’s been time to do something for a while,” he said. “It was always the right time to act. Just now we have the means to inspire other people.”

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