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Topics: Ethical Living | Activism

How to join the Global Climate Strike

From walkouts to silent vigils, there are a number of ways to get involved

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Inspired by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, young people around the world have been sounding the alarm about the climate crisis with school walkouts and calls for change. Now, it’s time for adults to step up. Global Climate Strike Week takes place from Sept. 20-27, with major protests planned for the first and last day. Getting involved doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are some ways to join the movement, as suggested by the strike’s website:

Get out there: Check out this map (you might need to scroll down) to find a strike near you. If there isn’t one, why not start your own? Make sure you register it so other interested participants can find you and you don’t split your efforts. Encourage friends and people in your faith community to join you. The United Church has a prayer specifically for Fridays for Future, the weekly youth-led school walkouts that raise awareness of the climate emergency.

Get organized: The Global Climate Strike website includes a number of ideas for workplaces and communities. Employees are encouraged to raise awareness at work, put together a proposal and if all goes to plan, publicize your employer’s support. Participating doesn’t just mean joining a strike; you could also help organize a seminar about climate change, hold a silent vigil or wear armbands or badges in support of the movement. Can’t get the time off? See if you can participate during your lunch break, or negotiate adjusting your shift start or end times to accommodate your involvement.

Outside of the workplace, organization is key. Join forces with other groups to prevent duplicating efforts and target those that will help drive recruitment. If there isn’t a strike near you, now is the time to register one so people can find you. Share a to-do list with other volunteers. Make sure you have sign-up and registration sheets: Global Climate Strike Week is a great opportunity to source fresh talent and enthusiasm and incorporate people into existing groups so you can keep attention on the cause past September.

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Use online resources: The Global Climate Strike week website has a number of resources for graphics, including posters and flyers. If you run your own website, you can join what’s dubbed the “digital climate strike” by adding a widget that shows your support. The site also offers online training for strikers, with topics such as media training and how to cover your actions live.

Smile for the camera: Use your social media accounts to show your support. Now is the time to take a selfie or video and show off why you’re striking. Make sure you’re using and following the correct hashtags: #ClimateStrike is the official pick, while #FridaysForFuture remains popular.

Speaking of youth…: This climate movement began with young people, and their voices deserve to be heard. Let them get the message out by giving them a platform to speak, either in person or via email to a mailing list. Consider joining them as they strike for change. Ask them what resources they need and see how you can be a good ally.

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Aleysha Haniff is Broadview's assistant digital editor.

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