Global Climate Strike

When I heard about it, I knew I had to be there. An earnest young man at the Harvest Moon Festival last weekend handed me a tiny flyer and said, “we need old people to support us. Please come.”  We old people have not been good stewards of our planet. This kid was right, the old people need to show up.

The Global Climate Strike is a youth led initiative. The story, from their Facebook page:

More than 2 million young people in 2083 cities of 125 countries across world on March 15th, 1.6 million on May 24th, 4 million on September 27th
Global Climate Strike 20-27th of September:
4685 events in 142 countries on all continents. Including Antarctica.
And counting…
Everyone is welcome.
Everyone is needed.
Winnipeg’s strike rallied at the Manitoba Legislature. It was impossible to tell how many people turned up from inside the crowd. CBC estimated 10,000 – 12,000. Youth led for sure,  teachers bringing students, no possibility that University classes were held today but thankfully lots of “old people” too.
There were too many people to hear all the speeches or know exactly what all was going on. The importance was just to be there, to be a crowd, a really big crowd that couldn’t be ignored. We marched down Broadway Avenue, halting the eastward traffic completely, up Main Street through Upper Fort Garry Park and back down Assiniboine Avenue. As we walked we chanted, many clever slogans that were distributed via our cell phones and led by hoarse young people with megaphones. “What do we want?” “Climate Action!” “When do we want it?” “NOW!” roared the crowd. The mood was positively joyous, and was repeated around the world.


How can strikes and chanting battle Climate Change? Only governments can make the sweeping and fundamental changes needed to prepare us for the inevitable effects of climate change, and reduce our carbon emissions into the future.  Politicians are ridiculously fickle people, who will do anything to get elected. These kids are the next voters. Politicians around the world are going to need to listen to them. Looking around, I’m pretty sure I’m standing beside a lot of future politicians, too.

It all started with one young autistic girl from Sweden, Greta Thunberg. If she has the nerve to get up and speak, we old people should too. We are, after all the greedy bastards that caused the whole mess.

Images from Winnipeg

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