Thursday, 14 November 2019 13:06

Students Strike for Climate Reform

SARATOGA SPRINGS — With calls to take action to address climate change sweeping the globe, a group of students from Saratoga Springs decided to take part in the revolution themselves. 

After students reached out suggesting that their school organize a protest centered around sustainability and climate change, Lily Rosen, President of the Young Democrats club, jumped on board with the idea. On September 20, three days before the United Nations Climate Summit, many students and adults across the nation took part in what was known as a Climate Strike. The strike was a call to action regarding the issue of climate change. 

Rosen said that The Saratoga Springs High School administration did not approve of organizing a protest, or striking during school hours, in an effort keep the school nonpartisan on the issue and to avoid disrupting the school day. Weeks later, the students devised another plan. 

“So we decided to do something that didn’t involve the school, so that they didn’t have to worry about any backlash and we could still have the freedom to organize the way we originally planned to,” said Rosen “We settled on the idea of doing a protest downtown outside of the school.”

Primarily through word of mouth, the students recruited more and more peers to drive the protest. Additionally, they created a Facebook page, and Instagram account to further publicize their events. 

Though the students have managed to remain the driving force behind their protest, due to being minors, they did need a bit of parental assistance when a permit from the city was needed. 

“My parents are very supportive. My parents have both said that they’ll be able to drive me cause, I can’t drive. They’ve been helpful,” said Rosen. “My father helped me with the permit from the city because they - since I’m under 18 - they needed an adult to sign the declaration to demonstrate and the city clean up agreements.”

As Rosen and some of her peers are minors, they were unable to vote this past election day, but are aware that many of their classmates will be able to vote in the upcoming election. This climate strike, and the advertising leading up to it will allow fellow students, and community members alike to keep the environment in mind while making political decisions. 

“We also really want to get the attention of law makers and politicians because there’s a lot of feeling that because a lot of people can’t vote, that we don’t necessarily care and we want to show that we really care a lot and we’re paying a lot of attention to what our representatives are going to do about the climate crisis.”

While political change does take some time, Rosen and her peers are working on making immediate changes within their school and how their fellow classmates can work to reduce their “carbon footprint.

“If there’s a way that we can, sort of maybe change something about the school’s energy use or carbon footprint to make it more sustainable and possibly then be cheaper for the school.”

The Climate Change strike will take place Friday, Nov. 22 at Saratoga Springs’ Congress Park at 8:30 a.m. To stay in the loop with these students and their upcoming protest, updates can be found on the Saratoga Students for Klimatet social media facebook.com/events/481805089086367/?ti=icl and instagram.com/studentsforklimatet.

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