The Society of Fearless Grandmother’s Santa Barbara is sponsoring a special event from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday — a shoe strike for climate justice.
The event at the County Administration Building, at 105 E. Anapamu St., in Santa Barbara, is being brought to Santa Barbara in cooperation with 350SB and the Greta Thunberg Fridays for Future international organization.
“When the pandemic happened, we started to try to think of other things to do and it is just so critical that we keep these issues in people’s awareness, because the climate crisis is serious,”Irene Cooke, one of the event’s organizers and a member of the society, told the News-Press over the phone.
Shoe strikes are a “COVID-safe demonstration,” meaning there is no expectation for a crowd to show up. Instead, members of the society will set up the shoes to represent the people who would have been there if there was no current pandemic.
“We’re not encouraging a large congregation of people for this event, but if people who walk past take pictures that’s fantastic,” Ms. Cooke said.
As the group’s name suggests, the women are all elderly, hoping to make life better for their future generations of grandchildren and beyond.
Organizers expect up to 500 pairs of shoes will be displayed Saturday.
“I hope that the elected officials understand that that’s what people are saying. It’s not just, ‘Oh I’m going to throw away my shoes,’ they’re donating these shoes to stand in their place, to make a statement about climate justice and to me, just having those donated shoes before we even start to display them, is really powerful.”
She added that she expects even more shoes next month due to the fact that they couldn’t accept every shoe donated because there is a quarantine period before people handle them.