Climate protest
Climate protesters march on Wellington street on Friday. Photo: Hailey Otten/Fulcrum
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Students and citizens demonstrate for climate action at the Global Climate Strike

On Friday, Sept. 25, students and citizens of Ottawa came together for the Global Climate Strike, organized by Greta Thunberg and Fridays for Future. The turnout was inspiring, considering people were unable to attend last year’s strike due to the pandemic. 

The event began with students gathering on the steps of Tabaret Hall, before walking over to Confederation Park to join a larger crowd. After an address by one speaker, the strikers made their way to the ByWard Market, where the protest continued.  

Signs made by the protesters. Photo: Hailey Otten/Fulcrum

Vanessa Fiore, a University of Ottawa student and a speaker at the protest’s stop in Confederation Park, said she has been attending conventions for different environmental groups since the fourth grade. It is a trajectory of activism that has led to her involvement with Citizens Climate Lobby, a non-partisan climate change advocacy group.

“[Attending conventions is] actually how I got involved with Citizens Climate Lobby, which is what led me to this, to me speaking at this event,” said Fiore.

From ByWard, the crowd marched towards Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office, where another round of speakers addressed the protestors. 

U of O student Phillipa MacDonald told the Fulcrum that she protested because she is afraid for her future. 

“Climate change is already happening and people are already suffering from it, and it’s really scary that no system is changing at all,” said Macdonald.

Fiore is the president of the Environmental Science Students’ Association which hosts events to promote sustainability says advocacy events like this one don’t end with Fridays for Future. Student activists continue to work to bring attention to the climate crisis year-round. Fiore notes a number of such upcoming events.

“We’re doing a park clean-up after the Panda game… [and] we’re going to do an opportunity fair where we’re going to present different opportunities to volunteer for environmental organizations,” she said.

Phillipia MacDonald notes that advocacy isn’t the only way to care about the climate crisis. She notes conscious consumerism as another way to maintain the activist spirit.

“I try to go to the store, All Eco, on Bank Street — it’s a great spot,” said Macdonald.

To learn more about Fridays for Future, and how you can participate in the fight against climate change, click here.