Fridays for Future Protest at City Hall

Calgary students took Global Climate Week to city hall on Sept. 20, for the YYC Climate Parade and Expo.

Hundreds of Calgary area students took part in the event, which was part of a larger global event that saw millions of people across the world take to the streets in support of increased climate action.

“The big message we’re trying to get across is we want our governments to take climate action,” said Rose Jackson Student Organizer, Fridays for Future.

Time for Governments to take Climate Action

In addition to the YYC Climate Parade and Expo, Global Climate Week Calgary hosted a number of events between Sept. 20-27 that included lectures, fundraisers, and workshops to support future climate action in the community.

Fridays for Future, which was one of the key organizers of the event, began after teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg garnered international attention for striking outside of the Swedish Parliament.

Since then, Fridays for Future has spread to more than 270 cities, and the Sept. 20 protest attracted over four million participants around the globe.

Jackson, an environmental sciences student at the University of Calgary (U of C), started with Fridays For Future in March 2019, because she had been inspired by the work Thunberg was doing, and learned about the Friday protests in Calgary.

Students Making a Difference

“I found this as a way to get my voice out there, and try to make some change,” said Jackson.

To Jackson, the event is mainly about raising awareness and starting conversations about the many difficult trade-offs our society will have to make in order to make meaningful steps towards climate action.

Jackson believes Alberta is an especially difficult place to host this event because of the ingrained support for the province’s main industry, oil and gas.

Nicole Lardeur, a U of C student participating in the event agrees.

“Living in Calgary it’s difficult trying to talk to people about the climate crisis, because Alberta loves oil and gas, but it’s killing us, so I’m glad to see a whole bunch of like-minded people here who are committed to a healthier future,” said Lardeur.

Even in a province heavily influenced by oil and gas, students of the Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Catholic School District were given the day off school so they could voice support and participate in the event.

“I believe if we become stronger and form a bigger collective, I hope real change can happen, and we can look back on this as a moment to remember,” said Jackson.

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