On Friday, September 20, three days before the UN Emergency Climate Summit, hundreds of thousands of students and adults went on a strike to raise awareness for the global climate emergency and get the attention of world leaders. The strike, organized by Greta Thunberg, a sixteen year old climate activist, reached over 150 countries and individual communities, including the CHCCS district.
Students across Carrboro and Chapel Hill schools organized walkouts at 9:30 a.m. They took busses from their schools to the Peace and Justice Plaza on Franklin Street.
Student organizers intended to gain the attention of world leaders and inspire action to fight the climate emergency that is currently plaguing the planet, keeping climate justice a central idea. Many students voiced their reasons for coming to the march.
Emma Kanjorski, CHS sophomore, participated in the strike because she’s worried about the effects climate change will have on the young generations.
“I walked out because climate change is going to mostly affect our generation, our kids, and I don’t feel comfortable bringing children into a world that I don’t feel like is going to survive long enough for them to live a happy life, so I’d like to change that,” said Kanjorski.
Brian Buck, junior, hopes that the impact of these marches and protests will reach world leaders and governments around the globe.
“It could help start ideas for bills and it can possibly lead to friendlier, greener ideas for the future,” said Buck.
While it may seem to some people that this strike won’t do much, students who participated see the long term impacts that marches like these can have.
“People are doing it all across the country, so one person alone might not make a difference, but all of us together definitely will,” said Katherine Stephens, sophomore.
Both Kanjorski and Stephens realize that this strike will not be the end of the fight against climate change but want people to know that this shouldn’t be seen as students’ attempt to get out of school.
“I think it’s more than just leaving school for a couple hours. It’s more about creating a sense of community and hope that there is something we can do,” said Kanjorski.
While the strikes will be wrapping up around the world, it’s important to be conscious of the climate emergency that we as a planet are facing. Even though more action is being taken, it’s important to protest and raise awareness for the climate crisis.