Everything You Need to Know about Friday’s Youth Climate Strike
Gathering at City Hall is part of a global week of activism to prompt more government action on climate change
Young people are leading the world in a mass Climate Strike on Friday, taking the lead from 16-year-old Swedish youth activist Greta Thunberg, who has been striking from school every Friday for the past year to demand the Swedish government take more action to address the climate crisis. Boston-area youth, and adult allies, are joining the global call to strike for climate action, with their own strike on Friday at City Hall Plaza.
This kicks off a full week of community actions. But more on that below.
What exactly is the Climate Strike? It’s a movement to demand that political leaders take actions to meet the size and scale of climate change and to launch the “era of the Green New Deal,” according to 18-year-old Audrey Lin, a Boston strike organizer, featured in a video that aired Monday from the Sunrise Movement. Boston and New York City have confirmed that public school students can skip classes without penalties to join the strike.
Here is what you need to know to best prepare for the Youth Climate Strike in Boston.
- The strike will begin Friday morning at Boston City Hall Plaza, One City Hall Square. It will then move from City Hall Plaza to the Massachusetts State House.
- Can’t make it to City Hall? There are a number of events planned around the greater Boston area and in nearly every state.
- The rally begins at 11:30 am at City Hall Plaza and shifts around the corner to the State House at 1:30 pm.
- BU students will gather at Marsh Plaza at 10:30 am for a brief rally, then march downtown to City Hall Plaza.
- Even though it is the Youth Climate Strike, everyone is welcome and invited to participate, including teachers, parents, and other adult allies.
- The Boston strike at City Hall Plaza is being organized by the Massachusetts Climate Strike coalition and supported by 25 other organizations, including 350 Mass for a Better Future, the Sunrise Movement, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the New England Aquarium, and Divest BU. Presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has also voiced her support for the action.
- Among the coalition’s demands are the passage of a Green New Deal that transitions the United States to 100 percent clean energy by 2030, with an emphasis on a just transition that invests in environmental justice communities currently on the front lines of pollution. Other goals call for respect for indigenous lands and sovereignty, investments in regenerative agriculture and farming, an end to subsidies for industrial agriculture, and conservation efforts for the world’s lands and oceans, including a complete halt to all deforestation by 2030.
- Expect a large crowd. And plenty of signs, artwork, chants, and singing. According to the organizers, seating will be available for those who need it, as well as accessible porta potties, ASL interpreters, and interpretation using in-ear pieces in Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Chinese. The current lineup of speakers includes Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu, former Obama administration EPA head Gina McCarthy, and community organizer Rev. Mariama White Hammond (STH’17).
- Expect to hear how the strike is the start of climate action week, with events geared toward climate action happening every day until September 27. Some planned events so far include a 350 Mass for a Better Future and GreenRoots-led protest of an electrical substation in East Boston and Climate Action for Peace on the Boston Common.
There will certainly be talk about the United Nations Climate Action Summit, taking place in New York on Monday, September 23, intended to ramp up efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, as agreed upon in the 2015 Paris climate accord.