As hundreds of people gathered beneath the ominous grey skies over Lawrence for the climate strike on Friday, Sept. 20, millions around the world did just the same. Earlier during the day, University of Kansas students also protested on Wescoe Beach with an array of signs and a chorus of young, unrelenting voices.
What started out as a slow, sleepy end of the week became an eye-opening showcase of local activism — The Climate Strike Walkout asked the town to stay vigilant and keep fighting.
Organized in part by Lawrence branches of the Sunrise Movement and The Sierra Club, the walkout was organized in tandem with a global reaction to draw attention to the climate crisis ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit, which kicks off Monday, Sept. 23.
Climate Change affects every living inhabitant of this planet, but the failure of major ecosystems will disproportionately effect the young — who are just beginning to envision a future for themselves. But instead, they will have to fight to reverse a poisonous system set in motion decades before their existence. Protesters, with signs in hand, seemed well aware of the incoming crisis.
Greta Thunberg, 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist sparked the global movement by taking weeks off school to protest outside the Swedish parliament. She joined the protests in New York City that same Friday, with a turnout of nearly 4 million, according to USA Today.
The protesters in Lawrence were quick to follow suit, marching down Massachusetts St. with incredibly clever signs and several petitions (full of signatures).
To get involved, visit resilientkansas.org and add your name to the Kansas Climate & Health Declaration’s commitment to “a healthier future for all.”