Ventura said, “We’ve had an era of fossil fuels, of big energy, and poor policy. Brown skies, lead filled drinking waters, and unprecedented species extinction. We’ve rolled back EPA regulations, sold off our public lands, fracked, pillaged and polluted our waters and air. That Era is over. Today we enter a new era.”
NAPERVILLE, IL – THREE HUNDRED ATTEND NAPERVILLE CLIMATE STRIKE TO PUSH FOR GREEN NEW DEAL!
Local groups including Sunrise Movement, Rachel Ventura for Congress, Will County Progressives, Progressives of Kane County, and Democratic Socialist of America co-hosted a Climate Strike at the Naperville Riverwalk this afternoon. The theme for the event was, “I am striking because…”
Hundreds of people, ranging from babies to elderly turned out holding signs that read “Save our planet, save our kids”, “There is no Planet B”, “Science, not silence”, and many more. Even a polar bear character attended with a sign that read, “hey humans, stop melting my ice!”
Suzanne Ibarra, the chair of the Will County Progressives, lead off the event by saying, “I’m striking because my congressman is a climate delayer.” She was talking about Bill Foster who later photo-bombed the event. The next speaker Alison Squires, chair of the Progressives of Kane County continued, “Democrats who are denying the climate emergency are just as bad as Republicans who deny climate change”.
Vince Hardt, representing West Surburban Illinois chapter of DSA called out and thanked the Green New Deal’s chief sponsor. “I am so pleased that people like our DSA member, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez have introduced this bill (the Green New Deal) that provides full economic justice and recovery of the planet before it is too late.”
Parth Patel, the Hub Coordinator for the Sunrise Northwest-Southwest Suburbs Hub encouraged more people to get involved in the movement. While An Ha is a freshman at College of DuPage did a beautiful job with slam poetry criticizing avocado toast and metal straw users, implying it wasn’t enough.
Shawn Collins, a Naperville-based environmental attorney spoke about the climate injustice in our area including companies like Sterigenics. He encouraged people to vote both at the booths and with their dollars. He ended his speech with, “and, if you are angry enough, sue someone.”
Ashlyn Pearson an 18-year old high school senior from Oswego East and president of the young democrats emphasized the climate emergency. “Climate change is real and if nothing is done then we are affecting the lives of thousands and thousands and thousands of people around the world,” said Pearson. “The government is sitting on a policy that will create this change. The Green New Deal is one of the only written ways and pathways to getting a cleaner and greener earth.”
Ann Baskerville, a representative from Sierra Club discussed the injustices of Walmart using temporary workers after removing them as full time employees. She also asked the crowd to support the IL General Assembly bill Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA).
Dr. Vince Gaddis a professor of History at Benedictine University drew numerous rounds of applause. “There is nothing more fundamental than ecological catastrophe… we have a limited amount of time folks,” said Gaddis. “I want to turn around in the car and tell my grandchildren that this earth, this place, not just America, but this earth, is going to be here in a sustainable way so that they can live out their dreams and their future. That’s why I’m striking.”
Rachel Ventura, candidate for US Congress, spoke last about why she is challenging Bill Foster in the 11th Congressional District. She discussed catching fireflies with her children and her concern that the climate crisis will eradicate them. She portrayed an image of a sustainable future and advocated for the passing of the Green New Deal.
Ventura said, “We’ve had an era of fossil fuels, of big energy, and poor policy. Brown skies, lead filled drinking waters, and unprecedented species extinction. We’ve rolled back EPA regulations, sold off our public lands, fracked, pillaged and polluted our waters and air. That Era is over. Today we enter a new era.” During the event both Congressman Bill Foster and Congressman Sean Caston attended the event. Neither Congressman have agreed to support the Green New Deal.