Students skip school to push for climate change legislation at state Capitol

March 15, 2019 06:57 PM

ALBANY - More than 100 local students skipped class on Friday. They gathered outside the state Capitol to push for a stronger response to climate change.

A Schalmont High School senior organized the event in just a few weeks. It's part of a bigger movement started called "Fridays for Future" started by a teenager in Switzerland.

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During these events, activists to skip school to rally for more attention on climate change. They consider it to be an act of civil disobedience.

The event in West Capitol Park on March 15 was organized by Audrea Din.

Din said she was looking to see where a "Fridays for Future" rally was being held locally. She was disappointed when she couldn't find one, so she decided to organize something herself.

Within two weeks, Din had raised enough money to cover the permits and insurance for the event. She said she initially learned about the rallies on social media and that those outlets played a big role in getting the word out to everyone who showed up on Friday. Din hopes to use social media to continue to encourage others to get involved.

"We don't want this to be a moment we want this to be a movement," Din said. "So we want to keep doing things whether it's like lobbying or keep on doing stuff through social media."

Assemblywoman Pat Fahy also spoke at the rally. Both Fahy and Din said action needs to be taken now, and it's likely going to be youth activists who make the greatest impact.

"They are inheriting this Earth and they're the ones that we need to rise to the challenge to fix this," Fahy said. "It is an absolute growing crisis with very scary ramifications."

"I think the youth are really stepping up to really try to fix this issue," Din said. "Just like the youth have always been on the front line fighting for justice and this is the defining issue of our time."


Emily Burkhard

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