Twenty-three University of Richmond students protested alongside roughly 75,000 people as a part of the Climate Strike in New York City, the biggest climate strike since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chesapeake Climate Action Network and GreenUR, the student-led environmental advocacy organization at UR, organized the event that UR students participated in on Sept. 17.
Protesters chanted, “What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!”
The goal of the protest was to raise awareness about the importance of action and the urgency because of the climate catastrophes the world could face. Protesters took a firm stance against the further drilling and use of fossil fuels, which according to a report on fossil fuel use by Donald Wuebbles and Jain Atul, are damaging to the environment.
First-year Lim Yue Kin, participating in his first climate strike, expressed frustration about the lack of action to limit climate change.
“I feel extremely angry and upset,” he said. “Towns are being destroyed, fires are spreading. I’m upset that governments have yet to face the extreme consequences of not implementing urgent measures to combat this. It’s upsetting that they hold so much power.”
The protesters marched through the streets of Manhattan, demanding change and chanting, “Stand up, fight back!”
The president of GreenUR, junior Zoe Cultrara, said she was impressed by how many people showed up to the protest.
“Having this many people gather is an empowering experience, and it shows you how much people care. It’s a lot about solidarity and standing up for what you believe in,” Cultrara said.
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Among the chants, it was notable that each person participating in the strike had the same opinion on fossil fuels, chanting “hey, hey, ho, ho! These fossil fuels have got to go!”
First-year Charlie Gorby, who joined GreenUR this semester, felt empowered by the sense of community created by being part of this monumental movement.
“The climate strike was very powerful,” Gorby said. “In a city of 8 million people, you wouldn’t expect to feel like you know anybody personally, or that you can relate to everybody. But we all fall under the wrath of climate change, and there is no way to get through to those in power than being loud.”
Students paraded around Manhattan wearing “Fridays for Future’’ shirts and carrying handmade signs. UR students carried signs they made a week before the protest, in collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University and Collegiate High School.
First-year Angelos Bouras, a member of GreenUR, expressed his gratitude for having the ability to participate in this powerful event.
“I feel really privileged and honored representing our community here,” Bouras said. “Through something small we can achieve big things!”
Contact news writer Farah Sertovic at email@example.com.
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