PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Students across the world, including many in the Portland metro area, walked out of class and took to the streets to demand action on climate change.
Those participating left their classrooms between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. for a march and rally. The demonstration is part of a worldwide Climate Strike, to communicate demands for future generations.
Portland police say several thousand people participated in march, which ended in three arrests. Two 17-year-olds were arrested for disorderly conduct II and interfering with a police officer, according to police, who say the teens were processed and released to adults, and the cases are being referred to the Multnomah County District Attorney's Juvenile Division.
A 32-year-old man was arrested after vandalizing the Hawthorne Bridge and fighting with officers, according to law enforcement. That man, identified only as Jake, was booking into the Multnomah County Jail and is facing charges of criminal mischief II and resist arrest. Police say they seized several weapons from Jake's backpack and used pepper-spray during the arrest.
After leaving their schools, participants first headed to Portland City Hall. They held a rally there before marching along the Eastbank Esplanade to OMSI.
Hundreds of students and community members are still arriving in downtown Portland for #ClimateStrikePDX. Students tell us they’re afraid for the future of the planet and they’re demanding lawmakers work to preserve it @fox12oregon pic.twitter.com/kHgvzZySMc— Amber Wilmarth (@amberwilmarth) September 20, 2019
Portland police released a planned route for the march, which went across the Hawthorne Bridge and started at 11:30 a.m.
Police warned people the march could impact traffic.
FOX 12 spoke with students who say they consider the changes happening to our climate to be a crisis that will impact the rest of their lives.
"We want our politicians and our lawmakers and our leaders to be in action, and passing policies and laws and legislation which is going to protect and preserve our future," Jaden Winn, a student at Wilson High School, said.
The event was inspired in part by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and organized by local elementary, middle, and high school students.
"It feels electric almost," Grace Payton, a student at Silverton High School, said. "It feels crazy to be part of such a big group who all support each other like this."
Friday won't be the first time Portland Public Schools students have walked out for climate change.
In the spring, they marched for the same reason -- but student organizers said this time they're encouraging adults to take part in their fight.
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