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8000 march at Youth Climate Strike in St. Paul, MN

By Kim DeFranco |
September 24, 2019
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Protest in St Paul, MN
Protest in St Paul, MN (Photo by Kim DeFranco)

St. Paul, MN - More than 8000 students, youth and their supporters marched to the State Capitol, September 20, joining the global Youth Climate Strike. As the protest poured onto the capitol grounds, they chanted, “Hey hey, ho ho, climate change has got to go,” and “There is no planet B!” They joined millions from around the world.

Daylon Prochaska, a Chaska High School student and member of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike who helped organize the Twin Cities school walkout, stated, “Never has there been such an incredible mobilization here and on international the scale or ever in the history of the world.”

After years and generations of witnessing world leaders turning a blind eye to the scientific research and all the evidence that the world’s climate is changing, the youth took charge. They know that if the ruling class continues this track, they will be the ones that will have to deal with the aftermath.

Prochaska continued, “That this walkout was organized by teenagers is greatly significant. The youth are developing an international consciousness that is based around mass movements and dismantling oppressive system. It’s important that everybody puts in effort to develop this consciousness by joining us in the streets!”

Many students who organized the walkouts represented local and international organizations, including U.S. Youth Climate Strike, Sunrise Movement, Friday’s for Future, Extinction Rebellion, and other groups.

There were a variety of student and youth speakers that emphasized the importance of this day and the continued work that must happen to protect the earth for many of generations to come.

Isra Hirsi, co-founder of U.S. Youth Climate Strike and daughter of U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar, talked about being a black Muslim in the environmental movement, “I am using her voice to uplift others. My existence in the climate justice movement in itself is an act of resistance.” She is concerned that groups are not addressing environmental issues that hit Black, brown and indigenous peoples the hardest.

Marco Hernandez, a student said, “Major fossil fuel companies are trying to protect their interests and assets by funding climate denying candidates into power. We have to deviate from the colonization ideology that we can ‘manipulate nature for our gain.’” He went on to quote Bertha Caceras, “'Let us wake up humankind, we are out of time. We must shake our consciousness free of the rapacious capitalism, racism and patriarchy that will only assure our own self-destruction.'"

Atquetzali Quiroz and the International Indigenous Youth Council - Twin Cities stated, "We are marching today for our four-legged relatives and plant relatives who are unable to speak for themselves. We are marching for our family, community and most of all, we are marching for the future generations. We must protect mother earth at all cost."

The rally ended with a commitment to continue pressing politicians and corporations to take climate change seriously so we can fix it now and in the future.