Climate Strike

Narragansett Bay has warmed 1.6 degrees Celsius over the last 50 years, and Rhode Island is the first state in the lower 48 to have average temperatures increase by two degrees Celsius. Climate change is hitting us now, and there’s a group of youth activists trying to do something about it. Climate Strike RI is holding a climate strike on September 20 at 10am on the State House lawn in PVD.

“It’s the third such strike in connection with the global movement,” says Joelye Land, one of the strike’s organizers. “Here in Rhode Island we strike at the State House, but there are millions of people striking in cities around the globe, literally everywhere.” There were two similar events earlier this spring, in March and May. Both were significantly smaller in scope, but Climate Strike RI is planning on making the next one bigger than before.

Organizers have a goal of reaching out to students in every RI high school. They’re also reaching out to community organizations like Save the Bay, Climate Action RI and Sunrise Movement RI. There will be speakers, chants, organizers and networking with likeminded people. “It’s about starting a foundation to do more, have our ideas heard on a wide level and having those discussions with local government,” says Land.

The strike has its start with Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who started leaving school on Fridays to protest outside government buildings about the lack of action on climate change. She started the Fridays for Future movement, where students across the globe would follow suit in walking out of school to protest their government’s inaction. The September 20 strike in Rhode Island is meant to show solidarity with other events happening at the same time around the world. The United Nations is hosting a summit of climate change the following week, with strike events meant to draw attention to world environmental issues. The Amazon rainforest is burning down, we don’t have a lot of time left.

The RI Climate Strike starts on 10am at the RI Statehouse, 82 Smith St, PVD. You can find more information and RSVP at actionnetwork.org/events/rhode-island-climate-strike-3

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