Students across New Brunswick join global climate change protest
Students skip classes to show their frustration with pace of response to climate change
Students from across New Brunswick joined students from around the globe Friday to demonstrate their impatience with the lack of action on climate change.
The co-ordinated "school strikes," were being held in more than 100 countries worldwide.
New Brunswick students skipped classes to join protests in Sackville and Moncton and at the legislature in Fredericton.
At Moncton City Hall, Makenzie Robichaud said young people have to take a stand on what she called a crisis.
"You see how many students are here right now and how important they know that it is and I think in a year from now when we're voting we're definitely going to have the climate in mind," the Grade 12 student said.
Robichaud said the strike happened during the school day, but if things don't change there may be no school to attend down the road.
The Moncton protesters spent about two hours marching and chanting "We are the future".
Rebecca Schweigert, a Grade 11 student at Moncton High School, said it's important to show political leaders it's time to make changes.
"To think about it more and to actually realize that the world has to change and the climate can't go any warmer," she said.
Schweigert said she was inspired by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday. She began holding solitary demonstrations outside the Swedish parliament last year.
It's a sentiment shared by Tomke Kuhlmann, an exchange student from Hamburg, Germany, who is attending Moncton High.
"It's important because it's our future, " Kuhlmann said. "If we're not changing something we will not be here anymore in a couple of years, and it's serious and people are not talking about it."
Kuhlmann said that even though she's far from home, she's grateful she can take part in the worldwide movement here in Canada.
"We're going to school for what … for what are we going to school if there is no future? So the politicians they know what to change they're just not doing it."
Fellow German exchange student Tilman Wetjem said the environmental movement is huge in Germany, so he was also happy to be part of the protest here.
"If we don't change something and if we don't develop things like technology, cars and everything else, we will end up having nothing left, and what will happen if we have no natural resources anymore? What are we doing then?"
Wetjem hopes the message gets through to politicians, before it's too late.
"Do we really want to live a life in houses with masks and everything? I don't want to do this I want to go outside in the park and breathe fresh air, and that's why I'm here today."
Josh Shaddick helped organize the demonstration in Fredericton.
He's an NBCC student from the Miramichi, but he drove to the New Brunswick Legislature to have his say.
"It's something I'm passionate about I've always been passionate about the environment and wildlife," Shaddick said. "I'm 24 years old and I'm starting to express myself I guess. This is something that's very important to me and I want to raise awareness about it."
He said students from across the province and around the world share the same sentiment.
"The biggest beef would be the inaction from the government. We need to start coming up with new initiatives to combat climate change it's not going away if we don't do anything about it we won't have a world to live in."