On Friday September 20th, students and activists across the world took to the streets as part of an organized Climate Strike, and BSU was no different. The strike was the idea of 16-year old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has been travelling the globe on a mission to raise awareness for the urgent need for people and politicians to take an honest look at the growing climate crisis. Dozens of students, faculty, and staff turned out for the Climate Strike here on campus, which was organized by the Environmental Action Team (EAT), a student run environmental group at BSU.
Speakers, including Anna Lockett, President of the EAT, addressed the crowd of protesters who had gathered on the steps in front of Boyden Hall; from there the march set off across campus with chants of immediate call to action to save the planet from actions detrimental to the climate. When asked what inspired her to bring the Climate Strike to campus, Anna responded, “It was Gwen Weissinger who inspired me to bring the strike to BSU. I wouldn’t have done it without her. Her guidance has been a crucial part in making this happen.”
The march went past the Martin Richard statue, finishing by the gardens in University Park. Anna echoed Greta’s outlook regarding the long-term goals of the Climate Strike, “Greta Thunberg, climate activist, 16 years old and the leading force to this movement once said, ‘we finally need to treat the climate crisis like a crisis’. I agree with this, I hope that these strikes force our leaders to take action now, because our time to prevent irreversible, catastrophic damage to our planet is running out fast.” Anna commented on whether or not she anticipates this march being the first act of a wave of activism, “Absolutely. Our generation of college students are outraged that the Trump administration is doing absolutely nothing to protect the environment, and that in fact, they are working to undo environmental protections made by the Obama administration. We won’t shut up until action has been taken by our government.”
At the end of the march, participants were encouraged to share a word that described how they felt about the climate crisis; many shouts of “angry” and “terrified” filled the gardens, though a few minutes later when asked for things that protestors were grateful for, those shouts were replaced with “BSU!” On what has been the most rewarding aspect of seeing the Climate Strike on campus, Anna said, “Seeing it all come together, seeing all the signs, and seeing all the people come together to change has given me hope for the future.”