The plan was to block Capitol Boulevard in front of Boise City Hall with bags of sand. The students would then stick their heads in the bags to symbolize government inaction on climate change issues. But when a mishap the morning of July 18 meant some of their protest materials wouldn't arrive, the students said they'd change their plans and walk to an Abolish the Police clothing sale at The Linen Building.
For North Junior High School student Katelyn, 14, the shift from climate action to social justice action wasn't difficult.
"We're trying to show that our leaders have failed us right now. We're holding more protests and gatherings to send a message," she said about her activism. "We're trying to preserve our youth and make it so we can keep going in the future."
On the other side of downtown in the event space of The Linen Building, new and gently used clothing had been spread out on tables and atop banners resting on the floor, all of it donated from people's closets and local businesses.
"We're making the revolution sexy," said Tanisha Jae Newton, one of the sale's organizers.
The sale took place as much to sell wares as it was to generate conversation about abundance in the Boise community and the role of police in that equation. Black customers would receive two free items, and sales would go toward a Black mutual aid fund.
Newton said they have also taken the opportunity to speak with customers "about what justice and policing look like." Among their concerns: The City of Boise continues to rely on a police-based security strategy that further alienates already-marginalized Boiseans.
"We think about Boise being really safe," Newton said. "That's not a true narrative. ... We decided we wanted to talk about it in a hosted space."
The sale will continue at The Linen Building until 7 p.m.