Young students around the world are standing up to be heard. And Sackville’s youth are no different.
In an effort to bring the spotlight to the growing climate change crisis and their futures, students from throughout the region joined together in downtown Sackville on Friday afternoon for another rally and march as part of the Global Day of Action.
“I know it seems easier to just pretend that this problem doesn’t exist but at some point it will come knocking at our doors, right in front of our faces. And only then will we truly realize how bad it was, and ask why the hell didn’t we do something?,” said Bliss Behar ahead of Friday’s strike.
The students are asking adults to wake up to the realities of climate change and to start taking action before it’s too late.
“It can be utterly terrifying to think our future is as bleak as it seems,” said Behar. “Adults can laugh all they want but I feel genuinely scared.”
As part of Friday’s rally, the students designed their own postcards and dropped them off at the post office on the way back from their march to be sent to the federal government demanding more actions on climate change.
Although the local students did not have school on Friday (since it was a teachers’ professional day), they still organized and planned the event to coincide with the other global strikes around the world.
“It’s time to wake up and rise to the battle. It’s time to make history,” said Behar.
The Global Day of Action is part of a worldwide movement inspired by 15-year-old Greta Thunberg who, since last August, has been protesting outside Sweden’s Parliament every Friday to urge political leaders to tackle the issues related to the climate crisis. This soon inspired students in other cities across Europe to join her on Fridays in what has become the #FridaysforFuture movement.
Behar said that sometimes youth can feel like they’re powerless and that their voices have no weight in this heavy issue because of their young age. But “Greta Thunberg has shown us otherwise.”
“She has inspired me to care, to never stop speaking up for the right thing. She has shown what can be accomplished by simply doing what’s right.”
More than 1.4 million youth from 128 countries were estimated to have taken part in the previous global event on March 15. Locally, about 200 students participated in the last climate strike and demanded sweeping changes from municipal, provincial, and federal governments. Some actions have since been taken by municipal government and by our provincial MLA.
There has also been a group of Marshview, Tantramar and Mount Allison students who have come together as the Sackville Youth Climate Change Coalition.