The shoe strike planned for Saturday in Santa Barbara is part of an international COVID-aware climate action, such as the skostrejk in Holland pictured here. | Credit: Catharina Gerritsen

On Saturday, July 25, between noon and 1 p.m., the Society of Fearless Grandmothers Santa Barbara is sponsoring a shoe strike for climate justice outside the County Administration Building on Anapamu Street. This demonstration is meant to be a safe and socially distanced event in which shoes are displayed in the place of those who would be attending a physical rally.

Irene Cooke, a representative of the organization, explained the purpose of the demonstration: “The specific and most immediate things that we are trying to draw attention to are the applications for new fossil-fuel projects that are pending with the county at this time. Two of the applicants in Cat Canyon have pulled their applications, but there is still one application for drilling that is pending, and there is another proposal for Exxon trucking that is set for a hearing in September. So we are asking the county to deny those new permits.”

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The Fearless Grandmothers activists have collected shoe donations in preparation for the event. More than 200 pairs of shoes are in hand now, and they closed donations today in order to quarantine the shoes to ensure they are safe to display. The group asks individuals to refrain from adding shoes on the day of the demonstration out of safety considerations.

Cooke continued to outline the expectations of the demonstration, explaining, “We are not encouraging a large crowd to congregate. It is planned to have minimal physical attendance so that it is as socially distant and safe as possible. This is mainly intended to be an opportunity for online activism and for people to walk past.”

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