Fighting for their right to a future 


Toby Gibbons

A passionate protester at the youth climate strike in San Fransisco shouts their anger about the state of our climate.

Chants and signs embellished with colorful drawings of Earth and slogans such as, “The climate is changing, why aren’t we?” were and heard for miles.  Six months after the first climate strike in San Francisco, thousands gathered on Market Street to protest global inaction of the climate crisis. 

Demonstrators of all ages rallied in San Francisco on Sept. 20, but the most widely represented demographic was the youth. 

In August of 2018, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg stood outside of the Swedish parliament at age 15, calling for stronger action on global warming. This would be the first of many Fridays that Thunberg and eventually youth all over the world, would walk out of school to fight for their future. 

Following Thunberg’s footsteps, Gen Z-er’s are making their voices heard. By September 2019, nearly six million people participated in strikes all over the world.

“I’m here in solidarity. I want to make sure enough people know we care,” said Emily Cardwell, a junior at Drake High School. 

There was a large Drake student turnout at the San Francisco climate rally back in September. 

According to Brittany Mullery, Drake’s IT data specialist, on an average Friday, 130 students will be absent out of the 1,340 students. Friday, Sept. 20, had a total of 440 absences. 

Unlike public schools in New York City and Portland, most school districts would not excuse students from school if they had walked out on Friday. Many are outraged by NYC and Portland’s decision to excuse students because, according to education law, schools cannot espouse political points of view. 

“Schools not excusing students from class is teaching them that they should be punished for standing up for what they believe in,” said Natalie Agnew, a senior at Drake. 

Despite this controversy, the youth will not abstain from future marches. 

“I will continue to march until my voice is heard,” said Catelyn Rollins, a junior at Drake. 

In reflection, the theme of September’s climate strike seems to be hope. 

Emma Neal, a photographer from Drake, used to fear that there was no hope left for the future. 

“I was taking photos on the side, people kept coming and coming and it never ended. It was really inspiring to see that maybe we are powerful enough to make a change, ” said Neal after the walkout. 

Until the baby boomers, gen- x’s, and millennials take the youth seriously, the fight will continue.

Photos by Toby Gibbons