Hundreds march in Syracuse for the Global Climate Strike

Hundreds march in Syracuse for the Global Climate Strike

As millions marched around the world, people of all ages marched from Syracuse University to Forman Park to raise awareness of climate change and demand action.
Published: September 22, 2019 | Updated: October 3rd, 2019 at 4:22 pm
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SUNY ESF environmental studies sophomore Lindsay Everhart (left); SU geography major Zora Willett; SUNY ESF environmental studies major Zoie Gold; and SUNY ESF environmental studies major Gabi Hajos (right) hold signs during the the CNY Sunrise Movement climate strike at Forman Park in Syracuse.

On September 20, millions of people marched in a Global Climate Strike to raise awareness around climate change and demand action. Students, professors, and the people of Syracuse came together that Friday to march in solidarity with the rest of the world.

Sunrise CNY, a local chapter of the Sunrise Movement, organized the local march. Sunrise is a movement by young people to combat climate change and advocate for a better future for us all. The march began on Syracuse University’s Quad and ended at Forman Park in downtown Syracuse. There, speakers and musicians used their platforms to speak out about the climate crisis.

Many students, like high schooler Fiona Landless, had to skip school to participate in the march. She was inspired to do so by her hero Greta Thunberg, the now famous 16-year-old Swedish activist, who began the Fridays for Future movement which encourages students to take time off from class and strike for the climate.

“This [march] is what we’ve been wishing for all this time. We really need the world to become a better place,” said Landless.

Those sentiments were echoed by everyone else there, including people from the older generations who are often blamed for creating the problem. Retired teachers Patty and Ray Farrington, who both graduated from SU, were striking because of their love for the planet.

“I want all of the young people on this Earth to have a planet that is both habitable and a planet that you can love and can love you back,” said Patty Farrington.

The Farringtons have been together for more than 30 years and have tried their best to live a sustainable life. Ray Farrington chooses to drive a small, fuel-efficient car and has planted many trees and flowers in his yard to help the local bird population. As a former citizen scientist for Cornell University, he counted the local bird populations and knows all too well how birds, like many other species, have been hurt by climate change.

“We try to do our part even though it seems small. It’s one small step but together it’s one big step,” said Ray Farrington.

 

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The climate strike was a joyous event that brought together people of all generations and walks of life. Families with small children were scattered around the park, with parents hoping to stress the importance of protecting the planet to their children. The protesters demanded change and sent a message to their leaders. Enough is enough, they said. They want change now and they want the people in power to be held accountable.

The day was filled with suggestions on how to combat climate change, but the most popular suggestion was to vote. No one was more vocal about demanding change from our government than 27-year-old Maurice Brown. A recent SU graduate, Brown stressed the importance of voting out legislators who choose to ignore climate change.

“There are elections here that you have a say about. This is your community. Take ownership of it. Vote here!” said Brown.

Participants in the march could register to vote on-site, and they also had the opportunity to meet elected officials and candidates who were running for office. State Senator Rachel May and Dana Balter, who is running against U.S. Rep. John Katko in 2020, both spoke at Forman Park, applauding the passion and drive of the young people in attendance.

Balter said, “Your generation will go down in history as the one that saved our planet from catastrophe.”

Avatar for Gaurav Shetty

is a contributor to The NewsHouse.

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is a photographer for The NewsHouse.