A recap of the March 15th, 2019 Youth Climate Strike in Chicago
by Aiden Lane, student activist and 350 Chicago member
On Friday, March 15th, over 1.5 million students across 2000+ cities in 125 countries protested for the environment instead of going to school. The school strikes, as they are called, were started by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist. She has spoken to numerous political leaders across Europe and has been nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. Her movement, called both Friday For Future and School Strike 4 Climate, started in Sweden, spread to Europe, and on March 15, the whole world got involved. The goal of the movement is to get politicians to take urgent action against climate change.
The main strike in Illinois took place in Chicago, although there were smaller strikes at Northwestern and other schools across the state. The Chicago strike started in Grant Park, then the students marched to Federal Plaza, where speeches were given. The speakers ranged from poets to Ameya Pawar, a candidate for city treasurer, to high school students who wanted to make their voices heard. The estimate for how many people attended the strike was 500-1000, although at one point it looked as if there were over 1000 people marching. The most inspiring part of the whole strike was how many young kids there were. The strikes had almost immediate success, with United Nations chief António Guterres calling a Climate Action Summit less than 2 days after the strike.
Even though this strike had a lot of success, the movement will not stop here. Students across the world will continue to organize strikes or strike by themselves on Fridays, and another United States strike is planned for May 3rd, so be on the lookout for details in the coming future.