A Friday climate change rally in Albany's West Capitol Park was held in solidarity with hundreds of others across the globe as part of the "School Strike 4 Climate.”
For the past several months, students around the world have joined the #FridaysForFuture school strike launched last year by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, whose solitary protests outside her country's parliament generated headlines that helped spur the global youth climate movement.
Students from Albany High, Duanesburg and a host of area schools braved a fierce wind outside the New York state Capitol, as they demonstrated, sang, chanted and heard a variety of speakers, including Schalmont senior and student organizer Audrea Din. "This is my first time actually taking the reins and organizing. It was very stressful, it's hard getting insurance, getting permits, really stressful but it was all worth it."
Sweden’s Thunberg, used social media to jumpstart the movement that has spawned the hashtags #FridaysForFuture, #ClimateStrike, and #SchoolStrike4Climate to deliver her message that there is limited time to reverse the effects of climate change.
Students rallied around New York state Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, a Democrat from the 109th District. She commended members of the "Albany Youth Climate Strike" for their awareness of climate change, which she labeled a "crisis.” "Think globally, act locally...we need these young people to make sure that we're no longer quiet, that we continue to raise awareness and continue to encourage their activism to solve these issues that they're inheriting. They are inheriting this earth and they're the ones that we need to rise to the challenge to fix these issues. It's an absolute growing crisis with very scary ramifications. Weather-related disasters alone are now costing hundreds of billions of dollars in this country, let alone the ramifications it's having across the world, with the refugee crisis, again, due to weather, drought and the obvious collapse of other economies tied to weather will only fuel these problems."
The local students were joined by others in 123 countries as they protested climate inaction by political leaders.