OGDEN — Despite the rainy day, students in junior high, high school and college — as well as recent Weber State grads, who helped organize the march — took to 25th Street as part of the global youth climate strike to protest the lack of political action to counter climate change.
More than 200 people attended the march, which started at Union Station, proceeded east on 25th Street and ended at the James V. Hansen Federal Building.
The group also made a stop at the Ogden Municipal Building after the rally at the federal building.
Aimee Urbina, a recent graduate of Weber State, was the event’s main organizer. Rachel Love, student body president at DaVinci Academy, was the primary organizer at the high school level.
The group had planned several chants in advance and circulated them among participants as they marched up 25th Street.
“It’s raining, it’s pouring, the politicians are snoring!” part of the group called as they walked.
The bulk of students were from DaVinci Academy, a charter school in Ogden. Both junior high and high school students from the school attended.
They inspired some adults to join them, too.
Amy Wicks, a board member at DaVinci Academy and former Ogden City Council member said school teachers and leadership weren’t behind the strike.
“It was student led,” Wicks said. “I think we should listen to them. They’re wise ... and it’s their future they’re fighting for. Ogden City has the same problem. We talk about changes and they’re so slow to come.”
“We, the youth, are here striking today from school because we cannot focus on the future that we’re not even sure we’re going to have,” Love said to the group gathered in the front of the federal building. “I cannot plan my career when I’m not even sure I’m going to be able to live it out.”
The Ogden youth climate strike echoed the themes of the global movement — which on Friday focused on the ethical issues surrounding climate change, rather than solely the environmental impacts.
“We demand change,” Love continued. “We demand climate justice. And climate justice isn’t just about fighting for the environment, it’s standing with the front-line communities such as indigenous people, people of color ... these are the communities that feel the most severe impacts of climate change.”
According to reporting from the Associated Press, climate change protests swept the globe Friday as young people demanded that the United Nations take action on climate change at the body’s upcoming summit.
The demonstrations were partly inspired by the activism of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who has staged weekly “Fridays for Future” demonstrations for a year, urging world leaders to step up efforts against climate change.
“It’s such a victory,” Thunberg told The AP in an interview in New York. “I would never have predicted or believed that this was going to happen, and so fast — and only in 15 months.”
Thunberg is expected to participate in a U.N. Youth Climate Summit on Saturday and speak at the U.N. Climate Action Summit with global leaders on Monday.
“They have this opportunity to do something, and they should take that,” she said. “And otherwise, they should feel ashamed.”