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Duluth Students Rally as Part of Global Climate Strike

Emily Ness
Updated: September 20, 2019 07:46 PM

Dozens of protest signs were poised in the sky like the trees they aim to save, during a rally at Duluth City Hall on Friday. With slogans ranging from, “Save our Mother,” to “I speak for the trees” to “There is not plan B,” Duluth youth say the signs represent their feelings about climate change.

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“We want to save the seas, we want to save the trees, we want to be in a healthy environment that will last generations from now,” Joseph Bussey Jr., Junior at Harbor City International said.

The rally included speeches, chants and an open mic for guests to voice their thoughts and feelings.

“Events like this to me, they’re kind of like young people of the world who don’t really have respected opinions get to come and say what they think and be heard for what they believe in,” Jocelyn Brown, Freshman at Harbor City International said.

The students say they back the goals of the youth climate strike movement including: environmental justice...protection and restoration of biodiversity...respect of Indigenous land and sovereignty...sustainable agriculture... and the controversial Green New Deal backed by some Democrats in congress.

“This is great. I’m actually a part of something. If you asked me last year if I was going to be part of a climate change rally, I would’ve said yeah right because I’m not going to lie, I lost hope because you know, if adults won’t do something about it then how can me as a kid do it too?” Bussey said. “And then you know, someone like Izzy Laderman and those people up there on the stage, they actually gave hope. They said, ‘hey we can do something about it.’ And then everyone else across the country is doing something about it too making today a great day, like a new earth day—like a more serious earth day,” Bussey added.

The strike was organized by students, Izzy Laderman, sophomore at East high school, Kimberly Fong and Geneva Schuab, juniors at East high school Will Smith, senior at Harbor City International and Harper Glisczinki, junior at Marshall high school.

“I hope people will take away that this is a huge sign that you know, not only is it real, but it is a huge issue that needs to be dealt with and we don’t have that long to deal with it so we need immediate action,” Anna Wigren, freshman at Harbor City International said.

Joining the students were parents, leaders and interested members of the community who chanted with them in solidarity. In addition to speeches and chants, the strike included information on 11 effects of climate change. The number 11 symbolizes the 11 years that some environmental scientists say we have before damage to the earth becomes irreversible. Despite this daunting number, students remain driven.

“Just show up and just be there for the world because we’ve only got one world and if we screw up now, who’s going to fix it? It’s either now or never,” Bussey said.

Now or never seems to be the theme nation and even worldwide.

“This is going to be a huge day for a lot of people. And, you know it’s not just Duluth that’s doing it. It’s not just Minnesota that’s doing it. It’s the world. People from everywhere are taking part in it so I think that many people are going to remember this day,” Wigren said.

Rallies are anticipated to continue through the end of the week.

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Emily Ness

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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