Global Day of Climate Action
Today is the Global Day of Climate Action. Following the immense response to the Global Climate Strike on September 27, 2019, Fridays For Future called for a global day of action that will see demonstrations take place across the globe. Climate strike leader Greta Thunberg reminds us of the importance of this type of grassroots organizing and collective resistance:
“I know that we need a system change rather than individual change, but you cannot have one without the other. If you look through history, all the big changes in society have been started by people at the grassroots level. No system change can come without pressure from large groups of individuals.”
Today we spotlight the voices of youth and the work of Fridays for Future Toronto (TO), one of several chapters of the global climate strike movement in Canada. These grassroots organizations led by youth are demanding climate justice through school strikes, rallies, and marches. Fridays to Future TO has adopted a number of intersectional demands that aim to create a space for youth to advocate for a better world that uplifts marginalized voices, follows the principles of climate justice and empowers youth to demand a future that is sustainable and just for all.
Today, Fridays for Future TO is hosting a physically distanced sit in for a just recovery at the intersection of Wellesley and Bay in Toronto’s downtown core. Allie Rougeot, head of the Toronto chapter explains, “by gathering, socially distanced and with masks, in Toronto today, we are really showing that we will not allow others to rob us from our future. Moreover, because we realize it’s a privilege for us to strike today and demand action, we are also asking for justice for those in the Global South, in Indigenous communities or in racialized communities that are already impacted by climate chaos and that have been ignored by our elected officials.”
Aminah Attar, a Fridays for Future TO member, shares her reasons for striking,
“I show up to strike because of how much we have to lose, and because of how much many communities have lost over years of exploitation. I show up because I am witness, like many others, to the pain and deterioration of civil rights that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought and highlighted as a world crisis. I am afraid of a future where survival will take precedence over the fight for human rights. Most importantly, I show up to strike, because I am steadfast in my belief that we will achieve a just and equitable world.”
The pandemic and the call for a just recovery has been the focus of this year’s climate strike. Youth have demonstrated immense leadership in calling for increased climate action as part of a just recovery.
“This climate strike, far from just another march by cute kids with signs, is a symbol of the perseverance of the youth and their adult allies,” says Allie. “It is also a reminder of how dire the situation is: again and again, my peers and I have to sacrifice our free time and take days off school to demand that people pay attention to a crisis that will jeopardize everything we love. This pandemic has clearly shown us how maladapted our systems are to instability, and yet the biggest disruption is yet to come if we don’t act now!”
Fridays for Future TO has developed a set of pillars to guide its intersectional approach, which includes Indigenous self-determination; a just transition; defending land, water, and life; livable futures for all; youth empowerment; and uplifting and amplifying marginalized communities.
Learn more about Fridays for Future Toronto’s Pillars for an intersectional approach to climate justice.
Join an in-person or online rally for the Global Day of Climate Action. Visit Fridays for Future to find an event in your region. Share your photos from today’s events on social media using #KAIROSClimateAction and #30DayKAIROSChallenge!