Nfld. & Labrador

Mealy Mountain students walk out for global strike against climate change

Students at Mealy Mountain Collegiate cut class today, but it's all part of an worldwide cause.

Global climate strike happening in 150 countries

Sean Cruz, a student at Mealy Mountain Collegiate, is proud to strike in support of the global student effort to force climate change initivives on world leaders.

Students at Mealy Mountain Collegiate cut class today, but it's all part of an worldwide cause.

Students from more than 150 countries around the world are joining in on a global strike to force the hands of global leaders meeting at the UN climate summit to adopt measures to prevent irreversible climate issues.

"I feel so proud right now — striking for a good cause. I think it'll make a difference. It's all over the world now," said Mealy Mountain student Sean Cruz outside the classroom Friday afternoon. 

As Friday morning made its way through the world's time zones, students across Asia and Europe began the strike well before students of the Happy Valley-Goose Bay school were waking up to go to class.

It's all part of the Fridays for Future schools strikes for climate leading up to activist Greta Thunberg's rally at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Monday, and a global general strike on Sept. 27. 

Students of Mealy Mountain Collegiate in Happy Valley-Goose Bay left class early Friday to join a worldwide, youth-led climate strike. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

In 2018 the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report that said people have just 12 years to act before the Earth suffers irreversible damage from climate change. 

Students in Stephenville were also on board Friday with their own strike, which met at St. Stephen's parking lot and hosted by the BSG Climate Action Network. 

Roughly 60 people joined the walk, doubling the number from the Fridays for Future march held in May.

About 60 people turned out for the Walk for Climate Justice in Stephenville on Friday. (Aiden Mahoney/Submitted)

Taking the lead

Co-organizer Saydee Jones told CBC News she took the lead on the Labrador strike after noticing no other schools in the Big Land were participating, while many schools in Newfoundland were joining the protest.

Saydee Jones and Tera Ryan are co-organizers of the student climate strike protest at Mealy Mountain Collegiate in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

"It's important that we do it too because we see [climate change] the most. We're living on the land and experiencing climate change the worst," she said.

"I think it's important for the people who see it the most have a voice in it. People in Labrador do really see it a lot and I think it's important that we stand in solidarity with those that are on the island."

But what about cutting class?

According to student Miranda Wilbur the cause is too important.

Miranda Wibur and Megan Mugford walked out on class Friday to join the global strike. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

"[We] get marked absent, but it shows that we care," Wilbur said. 

According to Wilbur and another student, Megan Mugford, when the time came to strike students stood up and walked out of a class. 

Mugford said teachers knew what was happening and did little to resist, adding they were quietly supporting the students for taking part in the global affair. 

"We're the youth, so we're the ones who need to step up," she said.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Jacob Barker

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