Striking for change

Citizens hit the streets for climate change on Sept. 20


Rachel Oliver

On Sept. 20, a global climate strike, put together by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, takes place around the world.

by Rachel Oliver, Co-Editor in Chief

Laying in my bed at midnight scrolling through my Instagram feed, I see one young activist after another. Names like Greta Thunberg, Autumn Peltier, Xiye Bastida and Alexandria Villasenor were all over people’s Instagram stories. Sitting there stalking their profiles, I saw that they’re all my age or younger. This is when I realized that there’s no reason for me not to be doing anything. I can’t make excuses for myself while seeing that other kids just like me are taking the national, or even worldwide, stage and truly making a change.

Then I heard about the Global Climate Strike taking place on Sept. 20, and there was one at the capitol in Austin. Adults and students alike are stepping out of their workplaces and schools and hitting the streets.

It took a while for my friend and fellow newspaper staffer, Ainsley Shaw, to get to the protest with all the lovely morning traffic that comes with going downtown on a weekday morning. Once we got downtown, I started seeing more and more people with signs saying slogans like “There’s No Planet B” or “We Stand With the Trees.” We waded through the protesters until we found parking at the garage right near the capitol, which we later found out to be free. 

Walking up to the crowd, the mood was contagious. I immediately got goosebumps. It was like a chanting sea of posters radiating this intense, powerful energy. Looking around, I could see every kind of person. Old, young, families, teenagers, everyone. They were all holding signs, and standing there without one, I felt left out. Emptyhanded, I joined in on chants led by people holding megaphones and also by groups of children. By the time I left, I had lost my voice from yelling so much.

Attending the strike empowered me. It reminded me that there are still so many people who care about the wellbeing of the earth. There are people who are willing to be the change they want to see in the world, and I am determined to be one of them.