On Friday, Sept. 20, many students and members of the community stood outside the courthouse and city hall, protesting against the lack of action on the climate crisis.
This protest was started in August 2018 by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish activist who stood outside the Swedish parliament every day for three weeks. She continued striking every Friday, naming the movement #FridaysForFuture. Students and adults all over the world began protesting outside their parliaments and local city halls in solidarity with Thunberg.
The Kamloops #FridaysForFuture was started by first-year TRU student, Kate Nanson.
“I’m happy with today’s turnout,” Nanson said, “there’s a lot of people here that are really passionate. Thought it was originally a student-organized event and strike activity, there’s a lot of adults here supporting us, which is great.”
She started back in March and has since gained lots of attention to the strike in the past six months.
“I have always cared about the environment,” Nanson explained, “and seeing students striking around the world made me wonder why we weren’t doing it here. Hopefully, this gets people to think more about how they’re voting this election.”
The crowd received tons of enthusiasm from passing drivers, honking their horns and raising their fists up. If any of the drivers ignored or showed their annoyance with the event, teenagers encouraged one another to be kind and give them a big smile.
“I’m worried that the situation we’re leaving for our young people is horrendous,” an on-looking woman explained, “so I want to do everything I can to spur the leaders. We need governments to take action, not just individuals.”
That’s the attitude many adults at the rally had, and many seemed amazed to see so many students show up and display their concern with signs and cheers.
Down at city hall, student members of the Kamloops #FridaysForFuture spoke on what it’s like to be living through this climate crisis. “Why is there a point in working towards our future if we don’t have one?” a striker asked.
An Indigenous science teacher of the Secwepemc nation explained her thoughts on the lack of climate action, and how important it is for us to be the voice for nature.
“In our Indigenous ways, we liken Mother Earth to a human. Right now, the lungs of Mother Earth are on fire. I welcome you here in peaceful coexistence with the Secwepemc people, and we have to work together.”
Each Friday, students around the world will be taking part in the climate strike, and each time, their numbers will rise. As more people become aware of how little time we have left to reverse our actions, it is hoped that more people will do their part to fight the climate crisis.