The Wheaton College Sustainability Board took an estimated 40 to 50 students to the Boston Climate Strike on Friday, Sept. 20, to demand action on the current climate crisis. With posters in hand, Wheaton students made their way to the City Hall Plaza where they joined thousands of other students, adults and organizations to ask for the same thing; change.
The rally consisted of many phenomenal speakers such as Boston City Councilor, Michelle Wu, as well as former environmental protection agency head, Gina McCarthy. Following the rally, the approximated 10,000 attendees marched down to the statehouse to demand three things, according to Boston Magazine, “For Charlie Baker to declare a climate emergency, for a just and equitable transition to the Green New Deal and for a renewed commitment to the rejection of fossil fuels.”
While at the Climate Strike, there were many creative posters that were being held. Many of them stated how legislation was ignoring environmental needs, while others were brief, to-the-point messages about the earth dying. One of the popular chants floating around on the half-mile walk between buildings was, “eat Jeff Bezos,” which complimented the “eat the rich” posters that could be seen. The amusing concept needed to be explained to the older generation of people, that were standing at the statehouse.
The strike was not only successful in numbers, but also in providing impactful experiences. Many students who went were glad they had gone, because they were able to stand up for something they believe in, with like-minded people. Mae Flibotte ’22 said that her favorite part of the strike was, “being in a collective space of youth empowerment and environmental consciousness.”
On the other end of the spectrum, there was a man, who was dressed up as Batman, who decided to scale the fence of the Statehouse. Most of the onlookers were concerned for this man’s safety, however, the crowd encouraged him anyway by cheering him on. Despite the crowd’s energy and his own determination, the guards behind the fence told him to get down.
After the slight distraction, the strike continued with its objective and proceeded to call for Charlie Bakers’ appearance and the decreased use of fossil fuels.
The energy at the event was exhilarating. Walking down the beautiful streets of Boston, with like-minded people, was quite a powerful feeling for all of the students from Wheaton who attended. Being surrounded by children, students and adults, who were all fighting for the same thing, practicing democratic rights, made them proud to step up and make a change.
Greta Thunberg, only 16-years-old, started this movement and inspired millions to fight for climate justice all around the world. Along with strikes and letter writing, voting for politicians will reflect what people want and can also make a difference. People will be able to see changes being made if they vote into office people who will write a policy that is targeted at addressing the climate crisis and a sustainable future.
On Friday of last week, the Outdoors Club hosted a climate strike on Wheaton’s campus. Students were proud to stand in front of Park Hall and speak about this current issue.
Climate initiatives around the world do not only stop here. They will continue all over the world until they change legislation for the good of the people and the planet.