Local climate action strike

Friday, September 20th strike in downtown Invermere

Strikers around the world are tired of waiting for assertive climate action plans and are taking to the streets in what is called a Global Climate Strike this Friday, September 20th.

“Our house is on fire – let’s act like it,” states the Climate Strike website.

Climate change advocate Greta Thunberg has been a strong voice for worldwide attention to the matter. The Swedish teen has risen to international fame for her blunt approach to telling world leaders, youth and everyone in between to take action.

“You cannot solve the crisis without treating it as a crisis, without seeing the full picture,” she said to the National Assembly in Paris this July. “You cannot leave the responsibility to individuals, politicians, the market or other parts of the world to take. This has to include everything and everyone.”

Greta is leading the charge on the global strike. She has been striking every Friday, beginning in August 2018, in front of the Swedish parliament, to protest the lack of action on climate crisis. The #FridaysForFuture spread and similar protests have taken place throughout the world since then. The Global Climate Strike was planned to take place just before the international Climate Action Summit happening September 23rd in New York.

A local faction to this international strike is planned for downtown Invermere. Aorora Orchiston and Masha Stich, high school students at David Thompson Secondary School, are joining in.

“Climate change is important, and it’s something that we have to deal with before it gets too out of hand and there’s nothing we can do about it at that point,” said Aurora.

The pair of friends would like to see Canada do more for climate change, and the District of Invermere (DOI) too.

“There’s a lot of things that I think Invermere still has to do, like ban plastic bags. I have heard that they’re in the process of it, but it’s not fast enough,” said Masha.

Aurora agreed: “They’re in the process of a lot of things, but nothing is getting done.”

On the note of a plastic bag ban in Invermere, it did come up at the last DOI Council meeting.

No one stepped forward to be on the DOI’s committee to determine what to do with plastic bags. The issue can’t be referred back to Imagine Invermere since the committee was dissolved. So are we bagging the bag ban? To be determined.

Masha hopes that through this community strike, people will start to think about the issue more and that it will lead to action.

While they emphasize this is not an organized event, Masha and Aurora have done a lot of footwork to get people to come to the strike. Along with other volunteers, they have approached downtown businesses to see about closing their shops for some of the strike time so their employees can join in; they talked to their principal about the walkout; and they have reached out to friends to join in.

Masha and Aurora have both been inspired by Greta’s work.

“I’ve heard some of her speeches, and the way she says it, it’s just so powerful,” said Aurora.

Watching a fellow teen on the international stage has been inspiring to watch, says Masha. But more than that, “she makes sense. It’s not politician higher level talk. It’s like, ‘this is what’s happening. This is what we need to do. Get on with it’.”

Invermere’s Global Climate Strike happens Friday, September 20th from 11-1:30 p.m. at Cenotaph Park in downtown Invermere.

For more information about the global movement, visit globalclimatestrike.net, or email CVClimateStrike@gmail.com.

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