Children and youth strike against climate change in Waterloo Region

By Aastha Shetty

A group of about 30 people of all ages gathered outside of Waterloo City Centre on Friday to strike against climate change.

School-age children and youth skipped class to take part in the strike against climate change.

It was Waterloo Region's first “Fridays for Future” strike.

One of the organizers, Sophia Kudriavtsev, says children and youth will be skipping class to strike every Friday, until they see a response from the government.

“It's important for them to stand up and fight for their future and striking from school is one way they can show that this is something serious because without a future, their education means nothing.”

She says they are striking to demand that people and policy makers make change to help the environment.

“We are demanding not only local Kitchener-Waterloo policy-makers, but also provincial and federal leaders to recognize that we need to turn things around. We have 12 years to turn things around and we need drastic action to happen now.”

Another organizer, Mo Markham, adds that they are striking because the government is not making changes fast enough.

“They're buying pipelines, giving money to oil and gas. They're not giving money to green energy. They're still giving billions of dollars to animal agriculture. They're not making people aware that this is one of the things that is destroying the planet.”

Markham says children just want to have their voices heard.

“We're leaving it to the children, who want to make change. We are just helping them facilitate that. Everyone needs to start being aware of their driving, their flying, what they're eating, what's on their plate — just what we're doing every single day. We're past that point where we can just make changes in our own lives, I think.”

The protestors stayed outside, holding up signs in the bitter cold until 2:30 p.m. on Friday.

They plan to do it all again next Friday.

At the end of Friday's protest, everyone signed a letter that was addressed to Waterloo MP Bardish Chagger.

The strike was organized by Kitchener-Waterloo Climate Save, Divest Waterloo, Citizens' Climate Lobby Waterloo Region and Rise Waterloo Region.


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