CRLS Joins in on Global Protest

Students Protest Against Climate Change

Eliza Sutton, Contributing Writer

On Friday, March 15th, 2019, students all over the world left school midday and gathered in throngs at state buildings and other public spaces. This global action was intended to make a statement to world leaders who continually turn a blind eye to the increasingly pressing climate issues the world is facing.

This movement was first set in motion by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. You might know Thunberg from her TEDx talk in November, or when she spoke at the COP24 United Nations climate summit this December, or from her speech at the World Economic Forum in January. Thunberg is not yet an adult, but she is already tirelessly fighting for the future of an entire population.

So, what is her movement? In August 2018, Thunberg camped outside of Sweden’s parliament instead of going to school, in the name of climate change. This brought her into the spotlight and since then, she has been utilizing her newfound influence to make greater change. Along with many other actions, every Friday since that first August date she has skipped school to protest. In the following months, students in many countries began to follow her lead.

[These strikes are] an opportunity to show those who deny [climate change] how deeply we care.

However, March 15th, 2019 marks the date the strike officially went global. An estimated 109 countries were going to participate as of Thursday, March 14th, and on the date, 123 countries did.  This strike is one of the largest environmental protests organized and carried out primarily by people under 21 years old in history.

Anais Killian ’22 talked about how she felt being at the march. She said, “The march exerted a feeling of exhilaration so palpable that the marchers felt like a bonded society. The march was a community fighting together. … No amount could ever be too small to make a change.”

Isabel Macedo, another freshman, said about the strike: “I believe that climate change is real and dangerous and that our government is not doing enough to educate, prevent, and prepare us for the effect it will have on our lives. … [These strikes are] an opportunity to show those who deny [climate change] how deeply we care.”

Josie Weissburg, one of the organizers at CRLS for the strike, was excited by the large turnout, but believes that it is just the first step. She says, “The March itself [and protests like it] … aren’t really effective at having long-term and hard-hitting effects—it’s all about the media coverage and just spreading the word.”


This piece also appears in our March 2019 print edition.