Youth, parents, university students, and passionate community members gathered in Uptown Waterloo Town Square to take part in the second global climate protest.
Similar strikes took place in at least 99 cities across Canada and more than 130 countries worldwide. The strikes were youth-focused, but everyone was welcome.
“We’re in a crisis. We need to send a bold message to the government because the government is not acting,” Beth Eden said.
The KW strike was held from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on May 21 to encourage students to skip school and work to protest climate inaction. There were speeches and performances by locals and a march around Uptown Waterloo. Protesters held banners and shouted chants such as “No more coal, no more oil. Leave the carbon in the soil,” and “Our planet, our future.”
After the march, protestors laid down on the ground in Town Square for two minutes of silent reflection. Organizers traced the outlines of their fallen bodies with chalk to symbolize what the future will look like.
This fight for a livable future highlights how climate change is a global crisis and drastic changes need to be taken now in order to address it before it is too late.
Micaela Yawney, is an Environment, Resources, and Sustainability student and representative for Plan E Canada (an organization that works to engage youth in climate action), was protesting because she is inspired by youth taking action. She said that youth are the next generation of leaders and “the power of our future is in their hands… we are here, we are not silent, and you need to listen to us,” Yawney said.
Eden, an Environment and Business student, was protesting because she believes the government needs to be made aware that youth care about the future of the planet.
She believes that individual consumers have a responsibility to act and so the public needs to be made aware of the issues surrounding climate change too.
A main theme of the strike was that one person can make a huge difference in the world, because Greta Thunberg, a Swedish schoolgirl, did. The recent global climate movement was inspired by Greta, who began speaking out about the need for climate change action in 2018, at the age of 15.
Climate protests in KW are held on the first Friday of every month.