Fridays for the Future
Greta Thunberg received worldwide attention in Aug. of 2018 when she took time off school to demonstrate outside the Swedish parliament. At 15 years old, she held a sign calling for stronger climate action. Thunberg inspired students around the world to engage in similar protests which eventually became an organized school climate strike movement called Fridays for the Future.
Student strikes have taken place around the world every Friday ever since.
This past Friday, The Global Climate Strike had people in over 150 countries stepping up and demanding change. “Change is coming, whether you like it or not. Millions of people marching for the climate today. Estimates say 270,000 in Berlin, 100,000 in Hamburg, 100,000 in London, and up to 400,000 in Australia,” Thunbergsaid in a post on Facebook,
While Albion may be a small college with only 1,500 students, members of the college community got together to do their part for what they believe in. Dr. Lyons, Albion College biology professor, organized the first march for the college. Students, staff and faculty from the college, along with students from Dr. Lyons ecology class and the environmental club,participated in a climate strike. Participants held signs with slogans like, “polar bears are on thin ice” and “there is no planet B.”
“We are the younger generation, it starts with us,” said the environmental club president Alexandra Pearcy, a junior from Indianapolis. “Because other generations before us didn’t think of us, we will think of them and the future.”
The demonstration started at the science center and then continued down East Michigan Avenue toward downtown Albion. Drivers honked and waved as participants marched down the street. The strike then stood in front of City Hall chanting, “one earth, one chance,” which gained attention from community members who then joined the strike.
At City Hall, Dr. Lyons asked students what they could do to help create environmental change. Participants shouted out ideas like carpooling, going vegan, riding your bike and recycling.
“Our world is changing but we are not and it needs to be recognized,” said Megan Arntz, a junior from Jackson, Michigan. “No matter what party you are in, politically or personally, it’s something that’s happening to everybody and it’s affecting everybody. Change starts with one person and all of us as a group can make a change on a small level to impact it on a larger scale.”
The strike then continued down Cass Street, coming back towards the college. The strike stopped in front of Ferguson, chanting “change now” to those watching through the window. Tim DeWitt, Albion College Treasurer, put up his window to whistle in support of the strike.
The strike ended in front of Baldwin where Dr. Lyons thanked everyone for participating and left the participants with words of wisdom.
“Come out of our comfort zone and take a stand,” said Dr. Lyons, “Do what’s right, even if it’s not easy.”