Climate activists and students around the world, including the Okanagan, didn’t show up for work or school today for Fridays for Future, a global strike for climate action.
“Today, as I understand it, there are something like 600,000 people marching in Berlin and across the world. Not as big in Kelowna but we are happy to be out here and happy that this many people showed up,” said Ben Cuthbert, a Fridays for Future Kelowna member.
Two students who skipped out on class today explained why it’s important for them to be participating in a Fridays for Future rally.
“We are going to be the ones affected by it the most, and people driving by, there’s no honks or waves, because people don’t want to face the facts,” said Devon Murray, a student activist.
“Missing school… It’s kind of showing that the youth care about climate change enough to miss something so important. We shouldn’t have to miss school to do this but if no one else is doing it, we need to show our support,” said Rhoenin Jaschinsky, a student activist.
The Kelowna strike started around noon in front of city hall.
The group then marched to MP Tracy Gray’s office a few blocks away.
“We are going to end our march at Tracy Gray’s office. She was just reelected as MP for Kelowna Lake Country and she’s our voice in Ottawa,” said Cuthbert.
“It’s important to know that she has our backs and is committed to system change.”
In Penticton, a similar march took place. Students and activists marched from the city’s library to Gyro Park.
“I’m here to fight for our future,” said Rosemary Tumbach, a student activist.
“Especially with the way things are going right now, we won’t have a safe place to live in the next couple of decades.“
Fridays for the Future was founded by well-known climate activist Greta Thunberg in 2018.
She led a massive protest in Germany on Friday.
Activists in Kelowna hope their visit to Tracy Gray’s office will encourage the MP to help them convey their message to Ottawa.
Climate change activists have been especially vocal in B.C. of late, given the extreme summer heat and record wildfire season.