130 countries, 2238 cities, 1,287,468 strikers. On Friday, March 15th, protesters young and old rallied across the globe, demanding government action on climate change.
The #FridaysForFuture movement was started by 16 year old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who sat in front of the Swedish parliament everyday for three weeks last summer protesting the lack of action on the climate crisis. The movement quickly spread worldwide, eventually reaching hubs in New Brunswick including Fredericton, Moncton, Campbellton, Edmundston, Saint John and Sackville, where students left class in droves last week to demand action on climate solutions.
In Fredericton, where more than 250 people flooded to the front steps of the Legislative Assembly, there was an electrifying energy in the air.
Before the rally, we opened our doors at Conserver House so dozens of folks, from toddlers to grandparents, could make signs supporting climate action.
There's nothing like chatting with new friends as we help our our little ones make their signs before everyone gathers for the climate strike!
Passamaquoddy elder Maggie Paul, and Chief Alan Polchies of the St. Mary’s First Nation started off the rally in Fredericton with inspirational words, prayers and a song.
“We have a responsibility to make a difference,” Polchies said.
The Conservation Council’s own intern and St. Thomas University student, Hannah Moore, followed with some passionate words encouraging youth in the crowd to continue fighting for their futures.
“We know what the problem is, and we know how to fix it. We need to get off oil, gas and coal. We must shift to renewable energy that does not exploit, degrade or damage the Earth,” she said.
“Let’s take future into our own hands and demand action from governments and industries.”
Leader of the Green Party and Fredericton South MLA David Coon followed with some meaningful words geared toward the young people who are frustrated with the lack of political action.
“It is your time… time to create the political will for change, to work together to create a movement so strong in New Brunswick that the premier and the government will have to act,” he said.
Everywhere we looked, we saw example after example of New Brunswickers of all ages and backgrounds coming together to support climate action!
It was a powerful day across New Brunswick, seeing so many people mobilize and demand action from our provincial and federal governments.
Sackville saw hundreds of students walk out of school to participate in the global day of action.
“So now we call on the government to take action so that we and the younger generation can live long enough to practice the education that we are receiving in schools right now,” said Yana Titarenko, a Mount Allison Student who helped organize the local event.
Moncton students left class to gather in front of city hall. Grade 12 student Mackenzie Robichaud said that young people need to take a stand.
“You see how many students are here right now and how important they know that it is and I think in a year from now when we’re voting we’re definitely going to have the climate in mind,” she told the CBC.
The Conservation Council offers tools like our letter-writing campaigns and petitions to help you speak out on issues you are concerned about. We encourage you to write to your local MLA, environment minister and local papers to share what you have to say! To help get you started, we currenting have a letter-writing campaign urging the provincial government to leave shale gas in the ground and move toward a renewable energy system.