Have you heard of the global Youth Climate Strike/Fridays For Future movement?
Youth in Winnipeg certainly have!
Join them on January 11th at the Manitoba legislature, with actions to be planned for the first Friday of every month thereafter.
(event may change from month to month; please check back).
Begun by Greta Thunberg, a then-15 year old in in Sweden, youth around the world have been skipping out on school on Fridays to demand that adults work faster on decarbonizing the world they will be left to inhabit as adults. What Greta has to say is so important and hard-hitting that she was invited to attend the United Nations' 2018 climate summit in Katowice, Poland where she spoke in front of the assembled leaders and the UN Secretary General.
This movement is entirely youth-led. In early December a group of grade 7 children from Winnipeg's Ecole River Heights organized to join the Climate Strike. On December 8th, they marched from school to Liberal MP Jim Carr's constituency office, and delivered a petition they'd been circulating asking for stronger climate action from the Canadian government.
This month's global Climate Strike is called for Friday, January 11th.
Open invitation to youth of ALL ages in the Winnipeg area to join the January 11th Climate Strike
Strikers will mobilize on the steps of the Manitoba legislature at 1:00pm on Friday, January 11th.
Make a sign you can hold to show how you feel (tips: use HUGE, BOLD letters, keep the word count down so people can read what you wrote from afar, and avoid crowding out your message with too many other designs if there's not enough room on your cardboard). And of course YOUR presence is what counts; attend whether you have a sign or not!
Call-and-response chants developed by the Climate Strikers for last month's march to Jim Carr's office were:
"2,4,6,8: Climate Action cannot wait. 4,3,2,1: let's get our power from the sun"
"No more coal, no more oil. Keep your carbon in the soil"
"Earth deserves a future. So do we. There is no Planet B."
"When air we breathe is under attack, we stand up and we fight back."
"Climate change is not a lie. Do not let our planet die."
After a short rally on the front steps of the building, the intent is to enter the building, deliver a message to Premier Brian Pallister, and brainstorm ideas for next month's Climate Strike in the rotunda (the main public area of the building) until 2:00pm.
We know January 11th is coming up fast; it's always hard to arrange events for right after Winter School Break. If you can't be there this month, never fear - the Climate Strike movement is calling for global actions to be held on the first Friday of every month. This means that after this Friday, the next Strike will be Friday, February 1st (and then Friday, March 1st, and then Friday April 5th, etc). MEJC will continue to help Winnipeg's Youth Climate Strikers get information out for as long as they need our platform, so you can always check back here to see what information we have.
Can't be there? YOUR YOUNG VOICE STILL MATTERS.
Look for #ClimateStrike and #FridaysForFuture on social media, and share (MEJC's Twitter account, @mbenergyjustice, and our Facebook page, are places you will be able to find information about the Winnipeg action). If you're not in Winnipeg, or even if you're a Winnipegger but Striking somewhere else makes it more possible for you, set up your own action. Register your Climate Strike at the global Climate Strike's website to let them know there are youth everywhere in Manitoba who are concerned about the inadequate climate action being undertaken.
Adults - Support and Respect The Youth Climate Strikers.
The Climate Strike movement is entirely youth-led. MEJC is only involved at Winnipeg youths' request for initial guidance, and to use our platform to publicize their events. If you're an adult who's excited about local students getting involved in the Climate Strike, please be sure to STAND BACK and let them do what they need to do. They have suggested that if you'd like to show your support, you might write a letter to Premier Brian Pallister or to MLA Rochelle Squires, Minister of Sustainable Development (handwritten is best, but an email works too).