Over 250 students step out of class in climate strike
March 16, 2019
Over 250 students participated in a 15-minute walkout organized by Green Team on Friday in solidarity with the Youth Climate Strike.
The Youth Climate Strike was participated in by students from around 112 countries according to the website of the organizers of the strike. It was originally organized to call for the implementation of the Green New Deal, and slowly morphed into a megaphonic platform upon which youth expressed their dissatisfaction with current political leaders’ lack of action on climate related policy.
Students at Harker were invited to walk out of fourth period from 10:00-10:15 after seeking permission from their teachers. Gathering in the quad, students surrounded Green Team members Anvi Banga (11), Alex Shing (11), Anthony Shing (11), Sachi Bajaj (10), Grace Hajjar (11), Natasha Yen (10), and Adhya Hoskote (11) as they stood on a bench near the periphery of the Quad and began to rally students with a chant about saving the Earth.
Students repeated after Alex who shouted “We are the solution! We can fix this carbon pollution! We are the change! We are the solution! We can fix this carbon pollution!”
Green Club President Anvi Banga (11) stressed the importance of youth standing up for their rights and making their voices heard, especially in an age where climate change is a prominent issue.
“Adults aren’t really doing anything, and while individual actions are amazing and they do a lot to help, something bigger needs to be done and that action needs to come from the government. Right now, most [politicians] acknowledge that climate change is a problem, but it’s not at the top of their agenda. They need to prioritize taking this issue on to ensure our future, because we will be the ones living here in the future.”
While the entire strike was planned over the course of 48 hours by Green Team, several other students who did not walk out of class demonstrated their solidarity by donning blue and green clothing.
“Dressing up in blue and green is a great thing, but it’s a lot different than actually taking time to think about the issues and acknowledge that they’re there and do something about it to show that, as a community, you care about the issue. That’s why we brought the strike to Harker,” Anvi said.
Students were joined by faculty members and teachers who led their classes to the walkout as well. Protestors displayed posters with phrases such as “There is no Planet B” and “It’s your planet, save it.” Students were invited to sign a poster in solidarity of the Youth Climate Strike and sign a petition which is to be presented to Congress in April by a federation of various high schools around the country who signed a similar petition to urge lawmakers to focus on climate-related policy.
“Climate change is not sustainable. We really have the power to do something as youth. People really listen when young people say things, and we really are powerful. In a day and a half, 5 of us were able to get 250 people to show up [to a walkout] and I think that’s pretty incredible. The strike really showed how youth can do something big with just a little effort to show solidarity,” Anvi said.