There were 562 pairs of shoes on display outside the County Administration Building at the July 25 protest.

There were 562 pairs of shoes on display outside the County Administration Building at the July 25 protest. (Courtesy photo)

The Society of Fearless Grandmothers Santa Barbara, in cooperation with 350SB and the Greta Thunberg Fridays for Future international organization, is sponsoring its second monthly Shoe Strike for Climate Justice, noon-1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, outside the County Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu St.

Shoe strikes are a covid-safe means of holding a demonstration without the need for large in-person gatherings.

Modeled on the SkoStrejk movement that started in Sweden, and is now spreading across the world, Shoe Strikes display shoes to represent the people who, but for the covid-19 pandemic, would be demonstrating in the streets.

“We can observe social distancing while making our message visible: People demand climate justice,” the Society of Fearless Grandmothers said.

With hundreds of wildfires currently burning in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom recently said, “Climate change is real.” Last week saw record breaking heat with 130 degrees F. in Death Valley.

“If you are in denial about climate change, come to California,” Newsom said. However, he has approved some 1,500 new permits for drilling oil and gas wells in 2020. He has ended a fracking moratorium, approving hundreds of new fracking events, the Society of Fearless Grandmothers said.

“These fossil fuel projects increase the greenhouse gas emissions which are responsible for climate change, taking us in the opposite direction we need to be going,” according to the Society of Fearless Grandmothers, which is demanding the following from elected officials at all levels of government:

• Deny any new permits for fossil fuel projects,
• Focus responses to the COVID-19 crisis on a just transition from the fossil fuel economy,
• Protect people and the environment — not corporate profit,
• End systemic oppression to stop the long history of racial and economic injustice.

Shoe strikes are being held worldwide the last Saturday of each month to raise awareness of the need for Climate Justice and to demand that elected officials at every level of government take immediate action to address the climate crisis and the social and economic impacts of climate change and the covid-19 pandemic. These two unprecedented crises require unprecedented action to protect our citizens and our planet.

Society of Fearless Grandmothers Santa Barbara is a group of peaceful, courageous older women who understand the time to stand up for current and future generations is now. The group was formed out of a shared concern for the future of the planet and the need for climate justice.

“We are committed to nonviolence and believe that grass roots movements incorporating nonviolent civil disobedience are the best means of achieving the change needed to address the climate crisis,” the group said. “We recognize that the impacts of climate change disproportionately affect people of color and vulnerable populations.

“We can no longer tolerate a planet where anyone’s right to breathe is compromised — whether by police brutality, pollution or wildfire smoke.”