Concordia students are making a difference in the fight against climate change.
September 23 marked the latest protest for climate justice organized by Fridays For Future in Montreal. This month, Concordia University marched for climate justice, along with many other schools.
Fridays For Future is a movement that was started by climate activist Greta Thunberg. Thunberg was 15 at the time when she helped initiate the movement back in August 2018. She, along with other activists, sat in front of the Swedish parliament for three straight weeks to protest the lact of action for our climate crisis.
Students at Concordia University actively took part in a strike on Friday, Sept. 23 to protest against climate change.
The Concordian was present at the climate march to document the protest and speak with students about their involvement with climate justice.
On the morning of the march, students assembled on the Reggies bar terrace behind the Hall Building at Concordia.
Speeches were given by students who work at the Hive about the purpose of the day’s march, demanding two things:
- Ban fossil fuels by 2030, in terms of production, processing, exports and imports.
- Impose a massive tax on the wealthy while reinvesting into public services and social programs to ensure decent living conditions for all.
As the speeches concluded on the Reggies terrace, The Concordian met up with Concordia student Octavie Doherty-Haigh. Haigh gave her thoughts about why she was participating in the march.
“I came here to the climate march today, because I know that change needs to happen. I know that during the pandemic, there’s been so much of a shutdown and that’s why it’s important to be here in person,” Haigh explained.“I know that consuming meat is one of the biggest contributing factors to CO2 levels rising, so I’ve taken meat out of my diet. I also plant trees during the summertime.”
Students from Dawson College soon joined Concordia students to begin the climate march.
Concordia, Dawson, and McGill students marched together to the George-Étienne Cartier Monument situated on Mont-Royal.
At the monument, all the participating schools and organizations assembled.
The Concordian spoke to three other students about their involvement in combating climate change.
Anna Abbott explained how individual change can make a difference in the community.
“I do believe in individual change, I take the public transport when I can. I’ve been vegan for six years now. Bigger movements like this are so important to engage the community,” Abbott explained.
Many of the students at the climate march are actively switching to a plant-based or completely vegan diet in order to combat climate change. Others at the climate march simply just turned up, like Concordia student Gabriel Casola.
“I am not doing much to combat climate change in my own life. I am here at this event and I am more than happy to be involved,” Casola said.
At the monument, a speech was given by the President of the National Committee for the Rights of First Nations Normand Pilot.
Pilot spoke about how as a community, we have to take care of Mother Earth and how future generations won’t have a chance if we don’t.
Everyone at the protest wanted to have their voices heard. Over 130,000 students were in attendance.
Fellow Concordia student and theatre major Julia Pye summarized protesters’ thoughts on the event succinctly:
“I think the most important fight in climate change is the vote. I think that the government holds all the power and if we don’t get young people out there to vote, it’s going to be a horrible thing. Even talking to people around here so many people don’t know about the Quebec elections. I think educating the youth on that is the most important and knowing who you are voting for can literally save the planet.”