A large crowd gathered in Grand Circus Park for the Detroit Climate Strike on Sept. 20.
Across the world, more than 150 countries took part in similar strikes today with more planned for the rest of the week.
Youth activists from Detroit Area Youth Uniting Michigan —an organization run by Detroit high school students— helped lead the march along with other youth that attended the strike.
Tayiona White, DAYUM social media coordinator and junior at Cass Technical High School, feels it is important that younger generations step up and lead the fight against climate change, she said.
“I know that it is important because this is our future,” White said. “We’re growing up in this world and we are seeing all of these terrible changes happen that other generations didn’t have to grow up and grow into. I feel that it is important because we are growing up in this generation right now — the youth is.”
Activists carried many different signs as they marched to the plaza with one reading “I want you to panic,” with an illustration of the world on fire. Other signs read “I like being choked but not by greenhouse gases,” and “It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your coal.”
Many marchers voiced their support of The Green New Deal or House Resolution 109 during the rally.
Max Skopek, a Wayne State media arts and sociology major, thinks that The Green New Deal is the first step in helping reverse climate change, he said.
“Without something as radical as that (The Green New Deal) not much is going to change,” Skopek said.
This bill —if passed— would transform the economy by tackling issues of inequality and climate change, according to The Sierra Club, an organization focused on protecting the environment.
The bill states that the U.S. has been responsible for emitting 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions through 2014.
“The United States must take a leading role in reducing emissions through economic trans- formation,” House Resolution 109 says.
Hassan Beydoun, a Wayne State environmental science major, came to the protest because of the way people are overlooking climate change and its drastic effects, he said.
“We’re out here to show that we are going to be heard,” Beydoun said. “Because it’s a worldwide (protest) I think it shows that everyone is worried about this and it’s everyone’s problem.”
White said she and DAYUM activists would stop at nothing to bring attention to the cause while speaking to marchers at Hart Plaza.
“We deserve a safe future and we will do anything to achieve it,” she said. “I will miss school now if it involves me not missing school in the future.”
To learn more about DAYUM, go to https://www.alliedmedia.org/dayum.
Jack Filbrandt is the Arts and Entertainment editor of The South End. He can be reached at email@example.com
Cover photo by Fernanda Manzanares