Youth Vs. Apocalypse Joins Global Day of Action for Climate March

Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

Students of all ages march during a strike for climate and migrant justice in San Francisco, on March 25, 2022. (Amaya Edwards/KQED)

Hundreds of Bay Area students marched across San Francisco’s Financial District on Friday, as part of a global day of demonstrations tied to the Fridays for Future youth movement.

Two people stand at the center with several protest signs in the background.
Sofia Palau and Simon Singh, YVA leaders, pose for a portrait outside the BlackRock building on March 25, 2022, in San Francisco. 'We're protesting against BlackRock because of their violation of Native land rights and their heavy investment in fossil fuels. They're also managing the California Teachers Association's money and they're investing it in fossil fuels and destroying the futures of their students without most of the teachers' knowledge,' Palau said. (Amaya Edwards/KQED)

Oakland’s Youth Vs. Apocalypse organized high schoolers and other young kids from across the region. The students walked from Embarcadero Plaza to the headquarters of the investment management company BlackRock on Howard St. and to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office on Sansome St.

The protestors painted their hands red and marked the pavement to symbolize how these groups are failing to protect their lives and futures.

A person with red hands poses for the camera.
Kendal Erving poses for a portrait on March 25, 2022. Her hands are covered in red paint, which was provided to students so they could leave handprints at the BlackRock building. This symbolizes the blood advocates say BlackRock has on their hands as a fossil fuel investor. (Amaya Edwards/KQED)

"The world is in a state of crisis," organizers said in a statement. "The climate crisis threatens the sake of all life on earth. We recognize that the climate crisis does not impact people equally and disproportionately severely impacts communities of color as well as low income communities."

"BlackRock directly funds the climate crisis and ICE is displacing and committing violence against climate refugees and people seeking safety," they said. "We demand change now so that we can have a tomorrow."

A young man with an orange beanie speaks into a mic with the background of protest signs.
Kevin G. Ruano Hernandez speaks during a Youth Vs. Apocalypse climate strike at the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco on March 25, 2022. Hernandez, 18, is an environmental justice organizer in Richmond. (Amaya Edwards/KQED)

KQED’s María Fernanda Bernal spoke with one youth organizer, Richmond’s Kevin G. Ruano Hernandez, who said the cause is personal.


“I lost my uncle and aunt to chronic respiratory disease,” he said. “And that’s my story, [but] there’s millions of stories like it in Richmond. Thousands of stories of students affected by fossil fuels.”

The youth group called on BlackRock to divest the California state teachers pension system from the fossil fuel industry.

CalSTRS is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world.

A youth organizer points a microphone to the crowd.
Simon Singh, a youth organizer with Youth Vs. Apocalypse, leads the crowd in chants calling for climate and migrant justice on March 25, 2022, in San Francisco. (Amaya Edwards/KQED)

At the ICE building, the group also rallied for a “pathway to citizenship and a respect of people's right to seek asylum from within the U.S.” and asked “for a livable and equitable future.”

A student organizer with YVA leads chants and a large group of student demonstrators during a climate strike in San Francisco on March 25, 2022.