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Rights + Justice
Photo Essays

‘It’s Amazing’ — 100,000 Demand Action on Climate Crisis

Climate crusaders take over Vancouver streets.

Amy Romer 28 Sep 2019 | TheTyee.ca

Amy Romer is a freelance photojournalist and storyteller based in Vancouver. Her work focuses on environmental and social issues.

As I journeyed towards Broadway-City Hall on the SkyTrain to cover the climate protest, I was concerned to see more people with heavy loads of luggage heading to YVR for flights than the throngs of climate change warriors I had imagined.

Fear not — I was early. And after I slipped away from City Hall at noon to send The Tyee my first set of images (and enjoy a quick coffee), I realized I had made a huge mistake. I practically had to crowd-surf my way back to the media section. Everyone had arrived! 

The energy was electric. As we media types gathered at the bottom of the steps on the north side of City Hall, we made bets on how many people had joined us. My guess was 10,000. A videographer guessed 20,000. In fact, police said 100,000 people had taken part in the protest. 

It amazes me that children — too young to vote in next month’s federal election — are the ones stepping up and making themselves heard.

Like Greta Thunberg, Vancouver’s teens have lost hope in our current politics and politicians.

And like Thunberg, they are rejecting “empty words” and demanding action.

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Name: Megan
Age: 14
Where should you be today? Delta Secondary School
Why strike? To change our actions and make sure the earth lives longer and we can have a healthier life.

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Name: Rebecca and Shelagh
Age: 65 and 62
Where should you be today? Working in Delta and Victoria
Why strike? We’re here to support all of those who’re protesting against government inaction. 

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Name: Lucas
Age: 16
Where should you be today? Killarney Secondary School
Why strike? To make a change in the world.

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Name: Samantha
Age: 20
Where should you be today? I should be at UBC
Why strike? I’m here because I’m done with no change and I think it’s time we start making a future for ourselves.

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Name: Jenn and Daniel
Age: 38 and 36
Where should you be today? Here right now at the Climate March!
Why strike? We’re here to support the message that there needs to be action now, and we need some political leadership to make it happen. The system seems corrupt and we owe it to future generations to step up and make changes now so they’re not dealing with the catastrophes down the road.

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Name: Tom
Age: 68
Where should you be today? I’d be enjoying myself on the Fraser River
Why strike? I organized a group bike ride from East Van to here on Facebook. There’s about 30 of us and we’re all here supporting the climate strike. I’ve been standing here for over an hour and the crowd hasn’t stopped — it’s amazing.

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