The Youth Take to the Streets to Fight Against Climate Change

Eve Piazza, Reporter

An international school strike for climate took place on Friday September 20th following the leadership of Swedish student activist, Greta Thunberg. Students skipped school and took to the streets to demand action from politicians to combat the growing climate crisis.

Millions around the world partook, including several hundred in Rhode Island alone. 

The organizer of these marches is an organization called the Sunrise Movement. The Sunrise Movement is, “a group of young people working to create green jobs and a livable future,” says member, Joelye Land.

Land, a North Kingstown High School senior, got involved with the organization after completing her democracy project on the role of veganism in helping the environment. Educating herself on that topic made her want to figure out how she could do more.

She began cutting down on her plastic use and doing research on how else she could help. Although, she realized “individuals can only do so much.” She began looking at ways she could have a bigger impact.

After learning that there is no climate strikes planned in Rhode Island, she decided to organize one herself. She also believes research on the candidate’s stances on climate change, will ensure that you are voting for the correct elected officials, that will take the climate threat seriously.

Taking action is fairly easy as well. Showing your support at the strikes, voting for candidates with plans to combat climate change, and even smaller things, such as what you are eating, will leave an impact on our planet.

Many other NK students participated in the march as well. Sophomore, Joseph Vento, as well as senior, Nicolas Piazza, were in attendance also.  

Vento shared that his attendance to the march was symbolic of the power the people possess in a democracy. “We want lawmakers to hear what we are saying because right now we are not represented in our votes.”

Piazza’s feelings were similar, “it’s how [the youth] can show their power.” 

A major theme throughout the students in attendance is an urgency. 

“Climate change is a generational issue and it will affect us more than any other generation,” Vento explains. There is a major anxiety between young people of today’s day and age of how climate change will affect their futures. 

“We are taking action into our own hands,” Piazza claims, “We want lawmakers to listen.”

Future strikes are being planned for the near future and students plan to continue pushing for change in Rhode Island and across the world.