Students strike in support of Fridays For Future



Students rally outside the STEM wing to speak out and strike for climate justice during G-block on Friday, Sept. 23.

A mass of students gathered outside the STEM wing to strike for climate justice during G-block on Friday, Sept 23. This strike was part of a national movement, Fridays For Future, centered around allocating resources to the communities most affected by climate change and holding those in power responsible for the current climate crisis.

Dean Summer Williams spoke to the organizers of the event before the walkout began and expressed her hopes for how this will create positive change in Brookline.

“My hope is that if people are going to walk out that they are actually committed to doing something and we see a real change. Walking out with your feet is great, but let’s make sure that we’re actually taking care of our campus the way we say we want to take care of our planet. It starts here,” Williams said.

The strike began with an opening speech by sophomore Ezra Kleinbaum. Kleinbaum spoke about his experiences with nature as a kid growing up in Brookline, and how much has changed since then.

The next speaker, senior Alice MacGarvie Thompson, emphasized that climate change is not just a thing of the future; people around the world are feeling its effects right now. She explained how the climate crisis disproportionately affects countries in the global south.

“Wealthy western powers are overwhelmingly responsible for the climate crisis, yet we are not the ones who have paid the price,” Thompson said.

Senior Tal Canetti, one of the event’s organizers, said the climate crisis is urgent.

“I feel like the sentiment I’ve heard a lot is, ‘oh, this’ll happen to me in 50 years.’ People think it’s bad but not pressing. But, it’s happening right now,” Canetti said.

What Canetti most wants students to take away from this walkout is understanding the role that intersectionality plays in climate change.

“I feel like a lot of the time people see [climate change] as individual actions, but most of the emissions come from corporations who are also the ones perpetuating environmental racism. So they’re really the ones we should be targeting,” Canetti said.

Flyers were handed out at the walkout advertising clubs students can join, such as the Climate and Food Justice club, to make an impact. While large scale actions are the most effective for stopping climate change, Kleinbaum said that smaller-scale, local action is still crucial.

“It is possible, practical and incredibly important that we all try to reduce our environmental impact,” Kleinbaum said. “It is incredibly important that we not only don’t contribute to climate change, but we actively fight against it.”