University of New Hampshire (UNH) students and members of the Durham and surrounding communities took action and took part in their local version of the Global Climate Strike last Friday, just a day before the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York City.
The Global Climate Strike is a protest with students from over 150 nations walking out of class to protest inaction on climate change, with many demanding a Green New Deal in the United States and others calling for an end to the use of fossil fuels.
The Durham protest was facilitated by the New Hampshire Youth Movement, a political organization that focuses on youth political involvement and community grassroot organizing. Their platform consists of fighting for a livable wage, quality public education from kindergarten through college, eliminating the wage gap and fighting against income inequality.
Students ranging from first-year undergraduates to graduate students were in attendance. Most remained for the half-hour long protest, while others stopped in for only part of it. Many of them created their own posters and signs in order to express their support for climate action and the proposed Green New Deal.
“Our society has placed the blame on the individual. The blame should be on the fossil fuel CEOs. It’s not on us as individuals, but it’s on us as a collective,” said Jackson Brannen, who spoke on the importance of climate action. To him, action stems partly from reframing the discussion.
A resident of Durham, Maggie Morrison, mentioned the importance of the youth vote in the upcoming election.
“I think it is incredibly critical that the 18- to 25-year-old population understand the importance and urgency of their vote,” Morrison said, but is still unsure about the Green New Deal, unlike many students that were in attendance. “I’m very curious, but I’m unsure of the policy.”
Support for the Green New Deal, a policy pushed by the New Hampshire Youth Movement, had some mixed results. The consensus appeared that each member supported some action, but the extent was debated.
Millennials and the student body had a much more unanimous plan, calling for the Green New Deal in its entirety, with some calling for even further action.
Despite some concerns over the Deal, every member of the strike supported action. Members of the community support swift and immediate climate action in order to protect the planet.