Thetis Island’s Katia Bannister, holding the sign far right, is among the Cowichan Valley youth involved in the last youth climate strike in Duncan during May. (Photo submitted)

Climate strike Sept. 20 gathering momentum

Cowichan Valley youth rally in global movement

It’s their future and the Cowichan Valley’s youth are taking action, joining a global movement.

A global climate strike is taking place Friday, Sept. 20, with the Cowichan Valley Earth Guardians crew spearheading youth climate activism in the region.

Just over a year ago, world-renowned youth climate activist Greta Thunberg, 16, started striking for climate justice outside her local parliament in Sweden. In the time between then and now, her cause has spread around the world, and is now ever-present here in the Cowichan Valley.

The Guardians organized a highly successful youth strike, march and rally in May of this year, with a turnout of around 450 people. Their sights are being set even higher for September.

Thunberg has declared Sept. 20 a global general strike. The Earth Guardians crew is echoing her message and urging children, youth and adults to join them in the streets to raise their voices for climate justice. The crew is hoping to see a turnout of 1,000 people at the upcoming strike, more than double the turnout of the May strike.

“We are talking about taking a stand for total system change here,” says local Earth Guardians crew member Katia Bannister of Thetis Island, “and the only way we can achieve it is if every one of the individual people who work within the system takes a stand. The youth have been speaking to you, and we can only hope you’ve been listening.”

The Sept. 20 strike will be held at Duncan City Square from noon-3 p.m. There will be youth speeches, poetry readings, music and a march, with climate theatre to follow.

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Simon Minkow says it’s time act now. (Photo submitted)

The Earth Guardians. (Photo submitted)

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