UPDATED MEDIA RELEASE – Friday For Future Youth Climate Strikes in Nine Canadian Cities during COP24

UPDATED:
Friday For Future Youth Climate Strikes in Nine Canadian Cities during COP24

Sudbury ON, Nov. 30, 2018 – In Australia today, thousands of youth have cut class from school to protest their government’s lack of action on the climate crisis. Earlier this week, the Australian Senate passed a motion to support the youth who are striking and then there was a rather “uncomfortable” debate in the Australian House of Commons.

Also frustrated by lack of meaningful action on the climate crisis, youth in at least six Canadian cities are cutting classes from school on Friday, December 7, 2018, during the international climate negotiations in Katowice, Poland. They are striking in solidarity with Greta Thunberg in Sweden.

Following the hottest summer on record in Sweden since records began 262 years ago, Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg started cutting classes at school. Dismayed by lack of real action on the climate crisis, Greta said, “If grown-ups don’t give a <__> about my future, I won’t either.”

On Friday, November 2, 2018, an 11-year-old girl in Sudbury did not go to school in solidarity with Greta. To our knowledge, Sophia Mathur was the first youth to join Greta in the Western Hemisphere. 

Sophia had three interviews that day on radio, TV, and print. One of Sophia’s first tweets on Twitter went semi-viral too. And Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus joined Sophia in the park and got to know her. His wife Britt Griffin, author of the Wintermen, a dystopian climate change novel set in Northern Ontario, brought Sophia hot chocolate too. Despite the cold day, the community connections and hot chocolate filled everyone with warmth.

Sophia is not done. Her next strike will be on Friday, December 7. She is asking others to strike with youth across the world. Youth in NINE Canadian cities, Victoria, Vancouver, Sudbury, Toronto, Kitchener, Kingston, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Fredericton and one young adult in Washington DC and another youth in Manchester, England have already agreed to join Sophia and Greta next Friday. 

Volunteers in Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada, iMatter Canada, and Climate Reality Canada are helping the youth. Over the past month, they built a website to track and help youth who are striking from school on December 7, 2018.

Follow and Connect with the COP24 Climate Strikers Here

Sophia has lobbied the Canadian Parliament, her local City Hall, and even the US Congress for climate action. She knows politicians are trying but that some adults are making it hard for politicians to take world-saving actions.

Sophia says, “Why should we go to school if there is going to be no future? The climate crisis is solvable, yet some adults are jeopardizing our future by blocking real action. They are not listening to experts nor cooperating. They are behaving like bullies.  Because of their bad behaviour, they would unleash massive suffering on people and animals. What should we do? We must be brave like Greta Thunberg in Sweden and strike from school. Together, we can stand up to these bullies. Cut class on Friday, December 7, 2018, organize a peaceful action and register your event NOW. Let’s build a network these bullies can’t ignore.”

The four recommendations for the youth climate strikes are:

        • Youth be the spokespersons whereas adults can help.
        • The main message is, “Adults are jeopardizing our future”.
        • Please treat all politicians with respect and admiration for their service.
        • Strike near a city hall, Parliament/Congress, government building or a politician’s office.

       

       

    • MEDIA CONTACT: Cathy Orlando, cathy@citizensclimate.org, 705-929-4043 ###