PaliHi Students Hold Climate Protest Rally on Sunset

Palisades High School students led a climate protest rally on Friday.
Photo: Rich Schmitt


Palisades Charter High School students stood up for the Earth and the environment on Friday, September 16, holding a Youth Climate Rally adjacent to the Village Green.

“We refuse not to act,” protest leader Carter Yean said to the crowd. “This situation terrifies me. It should terrify every single one of you! Because it is our future. And we are here to take it back!”

The demonstration for climate justice, also held a year ago at the same location, was aligned with Fridays for Future strikes around the world.

More than 50 students, a few residents and members of the PaliHi marching band left the high school at 1 p.m., after school let out, and walked up Radcliffe Avenue to Swarthmore Avenue, which was closed off for a half-block at Sunset Boulevard.

The Palisades High School marching band led support to the protest.
Photo: Rich Schmitt

PaliHi color guard members Cayenne Jackson and Becca Alpern provided visual support as the band played Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” during the march.

Resident Kristine Wyatt had heard about the protest through an Action Network email and said, “Anything I can do to help future generations, I will,” as she followed students up the street.

Carrying a sign warning “Time’s Up,” long-time resident Elrene Bower also joined the students. “I’m encouraged by seeing these kids,” she said. “This is important, and I wanted to be part of something with young people.”

The protest was supported by Resilient Palisades, a nonprofit focused on several green-energy campaigns in the community, and The Plant Lab, a vegan Japanese food truck that was onsite to provide refreshments.

For the next three hours, students were joined by other Palisades residents to protest the destruction of the environment and to encourage action against climate change.

Organizers of the event were Shawna Ashley, Carter Yean, Adina Hefner, Nicole Abbott, Natalie Rodriguez, Elise Patton and Olivia LaVia. All six are members of EAST, the Environmental and Spatial Technology class at Pali, taught by Steve Engelmann.

EAST is a community service-based class, where members vote on projects and work to make them happen, such as this demonstration.

Carter Yean, Pali senior, leads the demonstration.
Photo: Rich Schmitt

Students lined up along Sunset, holding various hand-drawn signs that received many approving honks and thumbs-up from passing motorists.

“Save Her [Mother Earth], Before It’s Too Late,” Pali Ambassador Heaven Martin’s sign read. Other signs included “Your Planet Needs Your Help,” “I’m Sure Dinosaurs Thot They Had Time Too,” “Make Humanity Sustainable,” “Planet Over Profits,” “Eat Plants, Plant Trees.”

Meanwhile, Pali Green Club president Eva Engel, Pali’s HRW Student Task Force co-president Clementine Causse and others used a megaphone to channel everyone’s energy and lead them in chants to the beat of Pali’s drum section. These chants included:

  • “No more coal, no more oil! Keep your climate in the soil!”
  • “What do we want?” “Climate justice!” “When do we want it?” “Now!”
  • “Climate change is not a lie, Do not let our planet die!”
  • “We’re youth united, We’re not going to be defeated!”

Engel told Circling the News, “Our planet is under attack. We’re going to stand up and fight back.”

And they are not simply demonstrating. In fact, since 2021, students have been actively working at Pali to increase energy efficiency on campus, transition to renewable energy and introduce climate change education.

Motorists honked at the signs made by students.
Photo: Rich Schmitt


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5 Responses to PaliHi Students Hold Climate Protest Rally on Sunset

  1. Steve Engelmann says:

    These students are mostly not old enough to vote. They had little to do with how we got to this place. Yet they are the generation that will have to spend the rest of their lives addressing an increasingly long list of consequences (drought, fire, floods, disease, heat waves, sea level, etc.). For those of us of the previous generations, while we are still around, we owe it to them to help in the transition. Many hands make light work. Gavin Newsom is about to sign SB 253. This will demand that large corporations doing business in California (making over $1 billion/yr) make their carbon footprint transparent. We need systemic change.

  2. Pam and Bill Bruns says:

    We are inspired by the persistence of the PaliHi students to counter the denial and apathy by too many adults. We hope the students will achieve their long sought green-energy goals at Palisades High!

  3. Kim Bantle says:

    We watched the documentary Canary this weekend. It follows the life of scientist Dr. Lonnie Thompson, who has studied the history of the earth through glacial ice since the 70’s. Beautiful scenery, amazing footage, but WOW! I had no idea how fast glacier ice is melting all over the world! It wasn’t his goal originally to document that, but when he saw the significant and consistent erosion, he started to alert people. Of course, no one listened. Everyone should see this film, and they should show it in schools. Streaming now.

  4. Colin Mininsky says:

    It is great that these students are doing this and it seems like a lot of them care about the earth and have a great group to help save the planet!

  5. Higgins Dennis says:

    This was a great event, and by the time they got to the village meeting that were way more than 50 students. We should also note that Hill, The Bae was there supporting the students. I agree with all these students are terrific and we should take lessons from them.

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