Kitchener-Waterloo·Photos

'We're in an emergency:' Protesters gather for climate strike in Kitchener

About 70 people gathered in front of THEMUSEUM during the noon hour Friday to rally for climate action and Indigenous rights.

About 70 gathered to rally for climate action and Indigenous rights on Friday

About 70 people came out for a climate rally in front of THEMUSEUM (Max Leighton/CBC)

About 70 people gathered in front of THEMUSEUM during the noon hour Friday to rally for climate action and Indigenous rights.

They blocked the road on King Street between Ontario Street and Queen Street and at points chanted "climate justice is Indigenous justice."

Anne Marie Beals said she was at the climate gathering because she's worried about her children's future.

"What kind of world are we living for them?" she asked.

Lily Viggiano stood on King Street with her sign and dog Nala.

"I work with kids that are 12 to 17 and every day they're worried. And so as someone who's older ... it's my responsibility to help them feel safe and secure in this world," said Viggiano.

Lori Campbell, the director of the University of Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre and Indigenous Studies minor program, was part of a drum circle at the gathering.

Organizers of the climate strike said the gathering recognized Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs, who have submitted a formal request to the United Nations to monitor RCMP, government and Coastal GasLink actions on their traditional territory.

Liam Gaussaud, 6, was the youngest person at the climate strike.

Alan Angold said he hopes the climate strike gets people interested in fighting for climate action.

"We want to get the average person thinking about the problem and helping us to deal with the problem," said Angold.

Christina Li said, "I feel like it's our responsibility to help and to support the Indigenous peoples on this land ... It's time to change and to actually reconcile."

For Alex Latta, being at the climate strike was about recognizing who climate change affects most.

"Climate change affects the most vulnerable in our society, and I'm not one of those most vulnerable people. But I feel that it's important for people like me, who can, to step up and put the pressure on our governments to make real changes," said Latta.

Pam Reaño said the most important aspect of the climate strike is that climate justice and Indigenous sovereignty go hand-in-hand.

Elise Hunsberger said she came to the climate strike because, "I feel like we're in an emergency ... I feel like we need political will and it's lacking."

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