When Greta Thunberg’s UN speech first hit social media, her fiery words and powerful rhetoric gave me chills and a wave of inspiration. Afterwards, it didn’t take long for the climate justice movement to pick up speed and make its way to the US. When the Youth Climate strike took place on March 15, I saw students who were ready to fight. With this event they had been given a voice. I knew that the students of Olympia wanted that voice, so I began to organize a strike at our state capitol.
Local students take the initiative
I have been blown away by the kindness and support from the people of this city and its surrounding areas. Along this journey, I met Kaylee Shen and Louisa Sevier, students at Olympia High School, who make up our dedicated team. Together we are working hard to make this event successful and impactful.
On Sept. 20, students will be striking from school to demand action, and we invite people of all ages to attend in solidarity. We are demanding that our local, state, and federal governments treat climate change as a crisis, and pass meaningful and ambitious legislation to combat it.
Our youth are our future
Alongside that, one of our main goals is to give a spotlight to the powerful young people in our community. Some kids have realized their potential and are involved in various forms of social justice. We want to give them a space and opportunity to shine. However, there are countless youth who do not realize the massive impact they can make, and we hope they feel empowered.
It took me a long time to call myself an activist, and I wasted valuable time telling myself I wasn’t strong enough to make a difference. I want every student at the strike to know that they are an activist, and they are powerful. There is no age limit to activism, and if that is not already known, it soon will be.
The fight is for every life
Information about the amazing work they are doing will be available at the strike from Thurston Climate Action Team. Olympia Indivisible’s “Get Out the Vote” team will be registering people to vote. There will also be inspiring speeches from young climate activists, along with much more.
We are fighting for every single life on this planet, we cannot take this lightly. Strike from school, strike from work, or simply attend. We hope to see you there.
Elyanna Calle is a student at Timberline High School and the organizer for the Olympia climate strike.
See Special Events on the back page of this issue. Follow climate strike updates @climatestrikewa on twitter and Instagram or Olympia Climate Strike on Facebook