Young and old rally at climate change strike

The rally at the Capitol drew a passionate crowd.
Photo Submitted by Jamal Sharp

On Friday, a global strike for climate change action took place all over the world, as millions to teens and adults skipped school and work to attend demonstrations and demand action to prevent climate change.

Tallahassee participated in this strike with a rally from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of the state capitol.  About 400 people, young and old, stood outside holding signs, shouting peacefully and listening to speakers.

“I let my students off today, I wanted to support this effort of the people, climate change is an extremely serious issue,” said a FAMU professor who asked to not be named.

Cars drove by with horns honking in approval to signs displayed by the protesters.  “Show mother earth you care, recycle,” and “Killing animals is killing the planet, go vegan,” were a couple of messages written on the signs.

The global strike for climate change and people advocating for clean energy solutions showed that people understand the world will come to an end if we continue to live under these harsh conditions.

At the capitol, the crowd cheered and clapped as each speaker explained how they felt about climate change.  The speakers consisted of college and high school students, activists, state officials, and citizens of the community wanting to voice their opinions and feelings.

Photo Submitted by Jamal Sharp

“We have hundreds of people here supporting this cause and I hear there are millions across the world, the time to act is now!” exclaimed Jeremy Matlow, a Tallahassee city commissioner.  “First and foremost we need to get to 100% renewable energy across the country and then start to limit admissions by factories, transportation, etc.  We need all hands on deck if we are going to make a difference.”

Some students, ranging from elementary school to college did not go to class.  It was not a holiday or an approved day off so grades were still counted; but for many, a strike for saving the world was a better idea.

Lauren Corey, associate director of campaigns at Rethink Energy Florida, was a speaker at the climate change strike in Tallahassee. “There is no point in learning in a classroom when these students are at risk, going to school won’t matter if there is not a planet when they graduate,”  Corey said. “These kids are taking this issue seriously, we see changes happening now with climate but the major problems will happen when these kids get older if nothing changes.”

The strike ended with a chant, with Corey shouting, “When the air we breathe is under attack, what do we do?” Then the crowd exclaimed, “Stand up, fight back!”

Corey yelled, “When the water we drink is under attack, what do we do?” And the crowd responded, “Stand up, fight back!”

Lastly, “When the earth we need is under attack, what do we do?” Corey implored as the strikers responded, “Stand up, fight back!”