PEI

'It's not just a few people': Hundreds take part in climate protest in Charlottetown

Hundreds gathered in front of Province House in Charlottetown Friday to take part in the global climate strike, joining people in more than 150 countries working to raise awareness and demand action on climate change.

More than 150 countries participate in worldwide demonstration demanding action on climate change

Protesters started to gather around noon Friday. (Ken Linton/CBC)

Hundreds gathered in front of Province House in Charlottetown Friday to take part in the global climate strike, joining people in more than 150 countries working to raise awareness and demand action on climate change.

The event is being hosted by P.E.I. Youth for Climate as part of a worldwide movement inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden, who has made headlines around the world for her climate-change activism. 

Katie Shaw, a Grade 11 student at Charlottetown Rural, was one of the many at the protest in Charlottetown. She said climate change "is a really important issue for me" and she wants it to be everyone's top priority.

"It doesn't matter how old you are, what you identify as, what your class is, or what country you were born in, we all live on the same planet and we're all going to feel the impact if we lose it," she said.

A few hundred people gathered in downtown Charlottetown for the global climate strike. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

Julia Hunter, a student at Bluefield High School, attended the protest and said she's frustrated by the lack of action on climate change. 

"It's not even the fact that it happens, and we made it happen. It's the fact we know we made it happen and we choose not to deal with it, or just ignore it in general," she said.  

Katie Shaw, a Grade 11 student at Charlottetown Rural, was one of the many at the protest in Charlottetown. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

Gary Schneider is with the Environmental Coalition of P.E.I. He said attention to climate change is long overdue. 

"It's unfortunate that we've left it to young people to fix this," he said. 

Islanders of all ages gathered at Province House in Charlottetown Friday.

But, he said youth are doing a better job addressing the issue than the older generations are. And, he said he thinks the protests will bring about real change. 

"People are listening to this because it's not just marginalized, it's not just a few people, it's going all across the country."

'I find her really inspiring'

Shaw went to the protest by herself, she said, and was shocked by the number of people that showed up to the climate strike in Charlottetown. A big reason why she wanted to go was because she was inspired by Thunberg's activism.

Protesters say they are worried about future generations. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

"I just really admire her tenacity and her perseverance, I find that really inspirational," she said.

"I find her really inspiring … now she's made such a wave around the world and it's really, I think, inspiring change."

Some protesters say they hope to get the issue of climate change into the spotlight for the federal election. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

Groups taking part in the global climate strike have been hosting events for the past week.

Last Friday, about 100 people demonstrated in Charlottetown voicing concern about climate change and inaction by world leaders. 

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