About 120 people, many of them students, took part in a march at Thompson Rivers University on Friday, Sept. 27.
The event was part of Global Climate Strike events held around the world on Friday, including a rally in Montreal at which Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg spoke before a crowd estimated at 500,000 people. There were also marches in many other Canadian cities and in cities around the world.
Momentum for this global action began with Thunberg, who began Fridays for Future, a campaign to go on strike from school every Friday until action is taken to drastically cut emissions. Several months ago, the movement called on adults to join them in protest on Sept. 20 and 27.
Last week, high school students in Kamloops left class and rallied in the downtown core, calling for
governments to take action to address the climate crisis and put an end to the age of fossil fuels.
On Friday, Thunberg arriving in Montreal from New York City, driven in an electric car provided by former California governor and Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
She marched in a climate protest that was part of a global movement she helped spark just over a year ago.
Her name was on the lips of just about everyone in Montreal — culminating with chants of “Greta!” roaring through a crowd spanning several blocks as she addressed marchers before receiving the key to the city from Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante.
Her ascent is nothing short of amazing says environmentalist David Suzuki, who described Thunberg as an exceptional person — “the right person at the right time.”
“There is no question that Greta has had an impact that is greater than all of us environmentalists put together,” Suzuki said. “But I think it's because of the circumstances, the reality of climate change now, are so very obvious.”
Her image as a passionate, fiery, sometimes polarizing figure gave way to that of your everyday 16-year-old as she met a throng of national and local media in a lush garden near the foot of Mount Royal, fresh from telling Canada's prime minister he hasn't done enough to combat climate change.
“I don't have anything prepared,” she said with a nervous laugh. “I’m very excited to be here and it is going to be very much fun today, to once again stand together, people from all around the world, for one common cause that is very empowering. It is very moving to see everyone, everyone who is so passionate to march and strike, people of all ages, all generations, so yeah, it is a very good day, I would say.”
— with files from Canadian Press