Carls join global Youth Climate Strike

Caroline Hall '20 kicked off the march to downtown Northfield with a rallying cry: “We’re out here saving the planet, there’s no time to be shy!”

Greta Hardy-Mittell '23 Sep. 23, 2019

On Friday, Sept. 20, Carleton students from across campus walked out of class. But they weren’t fed up with their first Friday of fall term—they were standing with students from Sweden to South Africa by joining a global movement: the Youth Climate Strike.

Caroline Hall ’20 led Carleton in the protest. After around 50 students gathered outside Sayles-Hill Campus Center to pick up signs with slogans such as, “There is No Planet B,” Hall kicked off the march to downtown Northfield with a rallying cry: “We’re out here saving the planet, there’s no time to be shy!” Indeed, with chants like, “No more coal, no more oil, keep our carbon in our soil,” and “What do we want? Science! When do we want it? After peer review!,” the participants weren’t shy.

By the time the group reached Bridge Square, they had accumulated a crowd of over 100 Carls. There, they joined dozens of Northfield High School students and allies from the community, and cheered as hundreds of St. Olaf students followed in waves. In all, over 700 people contributed to a monumental showing of community solidarity with young people at its heart.

Once the masses had gathered, St. Olaf student Imani Mosher kicked off the event and the theme of youth activism by thanking the students who had made the strike possible and the community members who were there to support them. Next, NHS student Katie Schroeer led a moment of silence for those who have felt the “first and worst effects of climate change,” including losses of “loved ones, livelihoods… and lives.” She urged the crowd to think especially of “marginalized people who have suffered the most, even though they have contributed the least.” Her classmate Ellie Hall-Holt picked up on a more optimistic note by expressing her gratitude for “the privilege of being an activist,” while celebrating that being part of something this big made her feel “stubbornly hopeful.”

Later, Isaah Vijil ’22 spoke to represent Carleton, his native Navajo people and “all the indigenous people who can’t share their voices.” He pointed to the release of wastewater into indigenous waters, and called to combat such pollution and take care of Mother Earth. A representative from Northfield Against Line 3 highlighted a way to do just that: stop a proposed tar sands pipeline that would run through native lands in northern Minnesota.

On Saturday, Sept. 28, Carls will join indigenous activists at a Gichi-gami gathering in Duluth, because they know that environmental activism doesn’t stop after one strike.