Walking across Cambie bridge into downtown was a crowd of people of all ages. Chanting filled the air and signs were raised high. This was a cry for help to save our planet. Our home. I’ve always seen these marches on TV but it is a whole different experience in person especially being someone who doesn’t attend many protests. Walking through the crowd gave me a rush of anticipation that led me to join in on the chanting.
Fridays for Future is a huge global climate strike started by young activist Greta Thunberg to encourage students to walk out of school and strike for global climate action. This event has been taking place for about a year in many countries around the world. It started with students of all ages skipping school and getting their voices heard but now adults have joined in on this movement. Many people aren’t realizing how serious climate change is so Fridays for Future is a great way to spread the message and encourage others to join in and fight for climate action.
The climate strike on September 27 was the first strike of the new school year and was one of the largest ones in Vancouver with over 100,000 people attending the demonstration. The strike started at Vancouver City Hall where there were speeches being made by organizers of the event who were in fact teenagers my age. At around 11am, everyone peacefully made their way and marched across Cambie bridge into Downtown Vancouver. The walk across the bridge took approximately around 1 hour and 30 minutes but was enjoyable due to the nice weather. While marching across, you could hear people yelling “what do we want?” and everyone would respond with “climate action!” Chants like these would fill the air and bring me a sense of excitement that made me eager to join. Homemade signs made out of recycled materials were being held high for everybody to see. It was nice to see all the creative ideas everybody thought of while making their signs. I did have a sign too but it was not nearly as creative as the ones I saw. At the end we all gathered again near the Vancouver Public Library for more speeches and chants. There was also a demonstration where everybody lay down on the ground for several minutes ‘playing dead.’ The best part of the strike was seeing so many people, young and old protesting with smiles on their faces even though we should not have to be here in the first place.
These climate strikes are an opportunity for students including myself who are too young to vote, to get the chance to have their voices heard by our world leaders. It was really an amazing experience to be at this movement and seeing everyone there fighting for their future. Climate change is a very real thing that needs to be taken more seriously. I highly encourage everyone to attend these demonstrations because we need as many people as possible to spread the word so others will realize how important climate change is.