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    As California Wildfires Blaze, Organizers of Climate March Hold Press Conference in SF

    As wildfires continue to devastate many parts of California, communities in the Bay Area held a press conference one month ahead of the Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice Mobilization on September 8. The mobilization, expected to be the largest climate march ever on the West Coast, will take place just days before Gov. Jerry Brown hosts the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

    The press conference, held on August 8 at Harry Bridges Plaza across from the Ferry Building, featured organizers behind the Rise march and community leaders facing impacts from climate change and fossil fuel extraction. A street mural capturing themes of the mobilization was drawn in real-time during the press conference by artists using charcoal and other materials from areas impacted by California wildfires. Organizers are planning to create the largest street mural ever for the day of the September march.

    The September mobilization in San Francisco is part of an international day of action, with hundreds of events planned around the world. These events will demand urgent action to address climate change, and to reshape an economy that supports workers, people of color, and all communities facing climate impacts. In California, groups are urging Gov. Brown and those attending his summit to commit to phasing out fossil fuel extraction and to begin a just transition to 100% renewable energy that centers around racial and economic justice.

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    Special thanks to Kurt Bilse, a friend of the San Francisco Bay Times, for his contributions to this issue. He managed to prepare the coverage under very challenging conditions and during breaks from working extremely long, hectic shifts. Thanks also to all of his colleagues at the Medical Reserve Corps and to first responders who continue to toil under harsh conditions at fire zones throughout the state.

    California is essentially ablaze now, with 25 major fires occurring as of this writing. Well over a month of dry summer weather lies ahead. This will be followed by what is known as the Santa Ana fire season, characterized by the hot, dry winds of autumn. The Oakland firestorm of 1991 reminds that those of us living in the Bay Area are not immune to events like the Mendocino Complex Fire. Now is the time to prepare as Bilse advises.