Thousands gather in downtown L.A. as part of global climate strike event

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Los Angeles Friday morning to bring awareness to the issue of climate change. 

The rally was part of a global climate strike event held today. Students around the U.S and those in other countries participated. 

Many LAUSD students walked out of school to take part in the event. Los Angeles Unified School District officials discouraged students
from leaving campuses, instead encouraging on-campus climate-related events.

Superintendent Austin Beutner and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti were among those set to visit schools and talk to students about the issue. But the district's stay-in-school message wasn't completely unified.

LAUSD Board of Education member Nick Melvoin wrote on Twitter, “Sending my full support to all the students in Los Angeles and across the world walking out today to demand action on global climate change -- the passion and courage of these young leaders gives me so much hope for our future.''

Garcetti and Beutner are expected to visit students taking part in an on-campus rally at Marshall High School Friday afternoon. Garcetti will announce the creation of a Youth Council on Climate Action at the event. Despite the calls for students to remain on campus, some opted to leave, most notably at Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, where a planned walkout occurred.

Participants in the Global Climate Strike event in downtown Los Angeles began gathering at Pershing Square late Friday morning in advance of the midday rally. Other strike events were scheduled at City Hall, USC, Westchester, Santa Monica, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Sherman Oaks, North Hollywood, Pasadena, Long Beach, Anaheim, Tustin, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Claremont.