Our Time: Students Standing in Solidarity for the Environment

Our+Time%3A+Students+Standing+in+Solidarity+for+the+Environment

Grab your bullhorns! Along with hundreds of thousands of students around the world from 150 countries, Loomis joined the National Youth Climate Strike on September 18, 2019.

 The strike, coming a day before the UN Climate Action Summit brought awareness towards the ever-growing issue of climate change, all by the most influential voice of all – the students. This national climate strike event, inspired by 16-year-old Swedish climate-change activist Greta Thunberg, hopes to further show politicians how urgently the youth wants climate reforms.

One-hundred and fifteen Loomis students and fifteen faculty members took the train to Hartford Union Station to begin their march to the state capital building in order to join other local high school and college students as well as citizens to rally against climate change.

Maral Asik’20 and Tallula Johansen’22 who attended the rally came to strike today, “Because I care about so many people and this entire planet by continuing to let things happen the way they are happening now and it is destroying our planet and it is time for something different to happen.” They hoped to represent themselves, the youth of America, and the future generations to come.

The 2019 Hartford Climate Strike was attended by students and local Hartford residents alike.
Photo: Lauren Volkodav

Not only students were present at the event, but also adults who wanted to show their support for the students and act as allies. They offered words of encouragement for students speaking on stage at the event and were proud of the students taking a stance on climate change at the event.   

The first female president of Amalgamated Transit Union, a labor union in East Hartford, joined the strike today, “To make a difference. We want to save jobs, make sure we stand together, and with more people, we will have more power to combat climate change.” 

Several of Connecticut’s state leaders were present to observe the rally, including Senator Blumenthal. Senator Blumenthal voice his opinion on the urgency of climate change, stating, “environmental leadership is more necessary now than ever before because we are on the cusp of a horrible rollback on many of the clean air and water standards” as well as talking about how student support was so important in fighting climate change. 

The youth present at the strike today echoed that same sentiment today at the strike, calling for government officials to take action now. Young activists chanted as a crowd, “ Fight because the oceans are rising!” 

The messages spoken at the climate strike were heartfelt and appreciated, yet the question of what real change will come out of today’s strike still remains. 

Senator Blumenthal condemned the current presidential administration for infringing upon the sovereignty of a state in regards to environmental laws, stating, “Look at what the administration is doing on California’s emission standards, and trying to override California’s state laws and the automobile industry is welcoming those standards.” He hopes Connecticut will, “help lead the nation and that is why this outpouring of passionate support is so important.” 

The National Youth Climate Strike may have been a great success today, but we must hope Connecticut will heed the voice of the students and fight climate change head-on, and that fight starts with the youth of America.