Palisades Charter High School senior and co-Editor-in-Chief of the Tideline journalism class Eliana Feinstein is coordinating the submission of a series of pieces the Palisadian-Post is publishing from the school’s periodical. A version of this piece originally appeared in Tideline.
By SERENA BROOME | Contributing Writer
Sixty demonstrators joined Palisades Charter High School junior Livia Rosenmayr during the April 22 march she helped organize in Downtown Los Angeles to advocate for Indigenous peoples’ rights and protest the funding of fossil fuels by private sector commercial banks in honor of Earth Day.
Rosenmayr is a member of Extinction Rebellion Youth Los Angeles (XRYLA), a group of youth activists fighting for climate and racial justice.
At the protest, the group marched around the financial district, stopping at major banks to deliver speeches rebuking their involvement in the fossil fuel industry and Indigenous rights violations.
The march was strategically held in the financial district before the shareholder season, following the release of the Banking on Climate Change Report 2020, which found 35 global banks directly responsible for the expansion of the fossil fuel sector by $2.7 trillion since the Paris Agreement.
According to the report, U.S. banks are the largest contributors, constituting 30% of fossil fuel financing. The report further indicated that these banks have not only supported fracking, liquefied natural gas and pipeline projects, but they have also encroached on Indigenous land, which holds more than 20% of the fossil fuel reserves in this country.
Environmental groups, such as XRYLA, are staunchly opposed to the role these banks have in fossil fuel exploitation.
“Sixty banks have poured over $3.8 trillion into the fossil fuel industry since 2016,” Rosenmayr said. “While some of them have made statements claiming they will go net zero by 2050, this is not enough. We demand that they become transparent in their funding of the fossil fuel industry, and that they divest from it, and instead reinvest the money into research and development of greener energy alternatives.”
Rosenmayr shared that she hopes her protest will draw public attention to the financing activities of these banking institutions, emphasizing that fossil fuels are the primary source of climate change and environmental degradation.
“It saddens me when people don’t hold nature in reverence,” she said. “My family has always been big on hiking, camping, biking, swimming, and I’ve grown up with a sense of responsibility to the environment. I loved participating in the Junior Ranger programs at National Parks, Heal the Bay beach cleanups and Ms. Chen’s Eco Homeroom at Paul Revere.”
Rosenmayr said she believes these early experiences instilled in her the passion and tenacity to pursue climate activism.
“I would love more students to become involved in the movement,” she said. “Climate change affects everyone, whether they like it or not. I believe that our generation will help bring along change. I invite anyone and everyone who wants to contribute to the movement to join Extinction Rebellion Youth LA.”
For more information on XRYLA and how to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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