Saima Desai

Student strike!

“I don’t want to tell my children I did nothing – and that is why I am here today,” says high-school student Abby Matheson to the crowd. “Here at the Saskatchewan legislature building, I am calling on our government to stop fighting against climate action. Around our city you can see government ads that say they are ‘Standing Up For Saskatchewan’ by fighting climate action. Our government is actually standing against us and our future. So, government, if you really want to stand up for us, then do it by taking immediate action against climate change. Help save our future generations.”

Matheson was one of several hundred students who went on strike on Friday, March 15 as part of a global youth action to push for concrete measures to be taken to address climate change. The Regina event was organized in part by the EnviroCollective (envirocollective.ca), a new volunteer group.

NDP environment critic Yens Pedersen addressed the crowd, encouraging students to write letters to the government demanding climate action. No Saskatchewan Party MLAs showed up at the event.

A smaller strike event was held in Saskatoon, walking to chants of “You can’t drive away from climate change,” “Wake up humans, you’re endangered too,” and “Raise your voice, not the ocean level,” from École Victoria School to city hall.

One student in Saskatoon, Rowan, told the Sask Dispatch, “I just want to grow up and have a future that isn’t washed down the drain by people in charge who don’t care about me”

Some students have continued striking on Fridays, though with smaller crowds. May 3 has been scheduled as the next big event for the student climate strikers.

David Gray-Donald is the publisher of Briarpatch Magazine.

Jack Thompson is a freelance journalist based in Saskatoon, Treaty 6 territory and the Homeland of the Métis. You can follow him on Twitter at @thompsonxjack.

Tags:   activism climate change strike students

Like what you’re reading? Subscribe today and get Briarpatch delivered to your door six times a year! Subscribe now.

close