Photo Source // Triston Singleton
By: Lizzie Brown, Highlander Reporter
On Friday, Sept. 20, Denverites of all ages, races, and identities skipped school or work to assemble at Union Station and participate in the global climate strike. This was a student-led strike, the #FridaysForFuture movement coordinated and registered more than 5,000 events worldwide and over 4 million people participated according to their website (https://fridaysforfuture.org/news).
The movement formed after Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, and online sensation, went viral in August 2018 when she used Twitter and Instagram to advocate for political action in the face of our climate crisis while she skipped school for three weeks and set up a one-man picket fence outside of the Swedish parliament building, and spoke at the U.N Climate Action Summit (can be found on NBC, CBS or on Youtube).
A sizable herd of Regis students and faculty partook in the march as well. Regis’ Sustainability Club handed out fliers the days proceeding the strike and mobilized a group of about 12 Regis students and faculty to ride the bus idowntown; other Regis folks biked and met up before the march began, some met at the Colorado Capitol.
Ryan Harris, a senior at Regis, discussed his perspective around the climate crisis and his views on the empowerment of individuals within a group using their voices for change.
“As an individual, you can make a change,” he said. “As a group, we have a microphone and as an individual, we kind of have a whisper, right? So it’s kind of using your individual mindset to be a part of a bigger community.”
Nikki Best, a sophomore at Regis, talked about what the climate crisis means to her and how it felt to have the Regis community at the event.
“I’m fighting for government policies to help fight climate change, to make the U.S. reduce carbon emissions,” Best said. “It makes me feel really good; it makes me feel like Regis is wanting to do something about our climate and like I’m not alone.”
Above the demonstration, looking towards the sky, you could see construction workers and folks in parking garages taking photos and hollering hoots of support-- luncheon munchers stared out windows to the street and some passers-by simply raised a fist in solidarity-- point being, no one could ignore the plurality of beating drums and zealous chants ringing throughout Denver as the demonstration marched to the Colorado Capital. As the crowd settled, highschoolers performed songs, Dr. Maria Michael, an indigenous elder, led a prayer. An 8-year-old advocated for policy that limits the production single-use plastic, and the crowd roared for every single one and those to follow. It was an energetic, peaceful and passionate demonstration of the youth drive to sustain, or save, the planet.