On Friday, September 27th, Green Action Centre employees took to the streets to strike for climate. We gathered at the Manitoba Legislative with approximately 12,000 others, ready to march for climate action.
Here are the takeaways from a few of our staff in attendance:
Sean Carlson, Active and Safe Routes to School
The climate crisis for too long has fallen off the priority list, but that cannot happen now. Our leaders need to see that this is an important issue, and people also need to find solidarity and motivation to continue with what will be a difficult campaign. What I observed at the strike was honesty, determination, and anger. It was heartbreaking for me to overhear 16-year olds talking about how we only have 8 or so years before our carbon budget is depleted and things go rapidly downhill. I think it’s really unfair and inappropriate that children and youth are taking on these very adult responsibilities because they see and understand that change isn’t happening fast enough. Youth are inspiring, and are changing the world. “Kids these days” are brilliant, well-spoken, and compassionate, and we need to continue standing behind them. Going forward, we require space continuously being made for these conversations. Even people who are concerned don’t know what to do, and also need to voice their fears and frustrations. Please continue bringing up the climate crisis in situations where it hasn’t historically been addressed; our leaders need to also know that taking necessary action won’t get them voted out of office.
Jaret Olford, Office Coordinator
What I loved most about the climate strike was the energy. People there were serious about what they were standing up for, and I could feel a range of emotions around me. There was sadness (at what we’ve lost), anger (at current inaction), and despair and fear (about things to come). But there was also hope (at what we can do), ambition, unity and a sense of collective purpose. The demographics of strikers spoke volumes – all ages, genders, religions, and ethnicities.
Nicole Roach, Commuter Challenge
I have been to many of the youth climate strikes and have watched the youth protest through ice, snow, rain, and the occasional sunny day. Each strike has continued to build momentum, as it started with tens, then hundreds, and now, thousands. It has been so important for me to be present at these strikes, helping to support the youth and spread their message. I have been fortunate to watch the progression of this movement and was thrilled to finally have the opportunity to walk alongside them in the general strike.
As I walked among thousands of passionate people, of all ages, I observed the range of emotions on display. Many were angry, some were sad, but overall, I saw hope. The power of numbers can do that.
Going forward, I hope that the success of the general climate strike will have an impact on politicians, policy, and governments to take necessary and decisive climate action. If that action is slower than required, I am prepared to continue showing up to protests, advocating for change, and taking steps to minimize my own environmental impact wherever possible. I hope everyone who attended the strike or was #nottherestillcare is prepared to do the same.
Tracy Hucul, Executive Director