Tuesday, March 19, 2019

#strike4climate - Youth Climate Strike rally

Interesting Friday - I yelled at a driver, followed a youth climate change protest, and spoke with a couple of female Mormon missionaries.  The yelling I will save for another post that will probably turn into an idiot-driver rant.  This posting is mostly about the mass of young people who decided to skip school to protest climate change.  It was actually a worldwide event that I guess not many people knew about, but because I subscribe to a few environmental news sites I learned that Montreal had approx 100,000 kids in the streets.  Other cities had more, others less. Being that Calgary is a petroleum-dependent city, I wasn't expecting to see many kids there. There weren't hundreds, but there were enough to make a point.  The enthusiasm of youth.  Gotta love it.  Treehugger has an excellent article, posted March 15, of news Tweets from around the world: Young people take to the streets around the world in the #strike4climate.

Protesting at the doors of City Hall.

"Come on out! Come on out!" No one came out of City Hall.

Peas for the planet. This girl told me that last summer her family went away and when they came back the peas they planted were too far gone to eat. So at her birthday party, she gave everyone peas to plant. She brought her pea plant to the protest.

Later,  I had a sit-down in Olympic Plaza to check out my photos. I was approached by a couple young ladies who happened to be missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS); one from the US and the other from Japan.  We had a nice chat. I told them that they were the first young women missionaries I had ever seen, that usually, I've seen young men LDS missionaries.  They asked what I was taking photos of and I told them about the rally.  They then ask why I take photos of activists.

Two men discuss the appropriateness of pontificating out of turn. The bald guy on the right felt entitled to share his opposing opinions to the climate change movement.  The man on the left had to remind him that the protest was for the kids. That it was their moment, not his. 

I told the LDS missionaries that while the kids were rallying a single adult male decided to counter the kid's chants of "what do we want" by shouting "we want jobs."  He was promptly told to cease and desist by someone's father.  That almost got out of hand too when the father told the entitled-one that his opinions would be best shared with Yellow Vesters.  Enough of that or I'll be starting an idiot-male rant.

I told the missionaries that at most rallies I've attended there is the one person, usually a man, who feels entitled to steal the soap-box for his own agenda.  I take photos for the people who share his view, who cannot change their perspective, and who need to know that their opinions aren't shared by everyone. Call me Don Quixote. Calgarians are a comfy, complacent bunch.

I told them that most of the protesters at the climate rally were girls and that if there is going to be any meaningful change in the world that it would be done by women.  This particular rally was inspired by Greta Thunberg the young Swedish girl who started a solo climate strike last year. According to The Guardian, 20,000 students worldwide have joined her.

Word has it that Calgary kids are going to try to rally every Friday.


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