“Come mothers and fathers

throughout the land

And don’t criticize

What you can’t understand

Your sons and your daughters

Are beyond your command


Your old road is rapidly agin’

Please get out of the new one

If you can’t lend your hand

For the times they are a-changin.’ ”

The lyrics of this Bob Dylan song are as apropos today as they were 55 years ago. The crises are different – climate change rather than civil rights and the Viet Nam War – but the desire of young people to become actively involved in issues they perceive as defining their future is the same in 2019 as in 1964.

We, along with Portland Climate Action Team members Allen Armstrong, Elissa Armstrong, Lisa Buck, Martica Douglas and Maggy Wolf, served as adult traffic guides, ensuring that the Sept. 20 Climate March by students from King Middle School proceeded safely from the school to City Hall Plaza. There, students from several area schools spoke eloquently and forcefully about the problems facing our planet and their disappointment and frustration with the lack of intention and weak determination to address these problems exhibited by our elected officials.

These young people were not skipping school, as the author of a Sept. 21 letter disdainfully stated! They were taking action and participating in time-honored methods of grassroots activism, actually doing democracy, rather than bloviating. Their efforts should be respected, heeded and encouraged, rather than being dismissed or second-guessed.

Rosanne Graef and Elizabeth Parsons


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