On Friday, students at the University of Alberta will have the opportunity to march to the Alberta Legislature grounds to demand action on climate change.
As part of the Global Week for Future, an event led by Swedish student activist Greta Thundberg’s Friday’s for the Future movement, global protests surrounding lack of climate policy action have been occurring in over 150 countries across the world.
U of A students ready for Climate Strike
On September 23 , students may have noticed a group of people (and a corgi) congregated in Main Quad inviting passers-by to make their own sign for Friday’s strike. One of these students was Carter Gorzitza, an organizer with Climate Justice U of A and fifth-year student in Environmental and Conservation Sciences.
“I would say that school is really important,” Gorzitza said when asked why he thought students should join the strike on Friday. “But the reason that we’re striking during school is because of how important education is. If we were all striking when we’re free… that means nothing. I’m willing to miss class for this because of how important this cause is and because we need to be acting right now.”
Climate Justice Edmonton’s University of Alberta Chapter is leading the march to the legislature grounds from campus. Those participating in the strike are instructed to gather in Main Quad near the South Academic Building around 11:30 a.m. where Climate Justice will begin the march at noon. Strikers will then walk over the High Level Bridge to the Legislature. The rally at the Legislature Grounds, featuring speakers & performers, is expected to begin at 1:30 p.m. and go until 3:30 p.m.
When asked what students should do if they are concerned about missing class, Gorzitza recommended emailing professors to let them know of your intention to participate in the strike and requesting that there be no attendance marks that day, or to cancel class in light of the strike.
According to Gorzitza, this week’s climate action in Canada has had political implications too.
“We have the federal election coming up,” Gorzitza said. “So this is a really big push to be getting Federal candidates to be talking about climate action.”
The strike in Edmonton is being organized by the Edmonton Climate Coalition, a partnership between the Beaver Hills Warriors, Climate Justice Edmonton, Edmonton Climate Hub, Edmonton Youth for Climate, and Extinction Rebellion Edmonton.
Attending the strike stirred controversy at the Students’ Union, with executives announcing they would not officially attend in their capacity as SU executives due to concerns of violating partisan policies.
According to the Facebook event page, 1,509 people are currently listed as going on the Edmonton Global Strike for Climate Action and 543 are listed as going on the U of A Climate Walk-Out page.