Round 2: Students march on Confederation Building again for climate change protest
Organizers are hoping to get 500 participants this time around
Students in St. John's skipped school and marched on Confederation Building on Friday morning, in an effort to be seen and have their voices heard about the growing global concerns over climate change.
Students in the capital city first made their way to the government's doorstep in March when they joined the global student protest, Youth Strike on Climate, which saw students in more than 100 countries get involved in the movement, and 300 to 400 people attend on the local front.
Friday was Round 2, and these high school kids picked their moment with precision to push the full effect of their cause — it was six days before Newfoundland and Labrador's general election.
The weather isn’t as nice as it was during the last rally, however the size of the crowd is the same and so is the enthusiasm. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcnl?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#cbcnl</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NLpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NLpoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/tQHZWVAneM">pic.twitter.com/tQHZWVAneM</a>—@megdroberts
"We have the current statistic that in 11 years the damage that we're doing to the planet will be irreversible, we know that the Arctic is warming at the twice the global rate," said Sarah Dunphy, one of the organizers of the Fridays for the Future NL march on government. "We know that Labrador is warming much quicker than the rest of the island."
"If a government gets in in Newfoundland and Labrador that doesn't do things for the environment, we're throwing away four of those 11 years which we don't really have time to do."
Dunphy said there hasn't been enough chatter on the campaign trail from political parties about what they will do to combat climate change, and while she agrees that banning single use plastic bags is a step in the right direction, Dunphy wants to see more action taken.
Taking the lead
Dunphy and co-organizer Alice Ferguson O'Brien contacted each political party in the province ahead of Friday's march.
The students said they have heard back from party representatives, but they're hoping at least one member from all four parties running in the general election meets them on the stairs outside of the Confederation Building to talk climate strategies and address the protesters taking part in the movement.
A report published this week in Nature Climate Change by a team of social scientists and ecologists from North Carolina State University found that youth are global leaders on climate change issues, having positive a rub-off on their parents.
While Friday's march is organized and consisting mainly of high school students from the metro area, Dunphy and O'Brien welcomed anybody and everybody to join them of all ages, including some city level politicians such as Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O'Leary and councillor Maggie Burton who organizers say are on board.
With files from the St. John's Morning Show and Meg Roberts