Classrooms across Metro Vancouver are going to be quiet on Friday as thousands of students take to the streets for the Global Climate Strike.
This past week has seen millions of young people across the world protest climate change and call on political leaders to take action, inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.
Sustainabiliteens Vancouver and Climate Strike Canada are organizing events in BC, including the Vancouver Climate Strike outside of Vancouver City Hall for people to stand together and “demand climate justice,” according to its Facebook page.
So far, more than 8,700 people have RSVP’d to go to the event, and 10,000 have said they’re interested.
Emily Carr University said it will be cancelling classes from noon onward for the Global Climate Strike.
The university’s President, Gillian Siddall, addressed students in a letter, saying the “climate crisis is a defining issue of our time” and understands it’s a global priority to students, “you have created work that engages with pressing environmental concerns, or have produced research that tackles questions about the future of our planet.”
In an email to Daily Hive, Vancouver Film School said it will be closing its doors all day in support of the Global Climate Strike so staff, faculty and students can participate.
Starting today, millions around the world will strike to demand an end to fossil fuels and climate justice for everyone. #VFS students and staff will join Vancouver’s Global Climate Strike on Friday Sept. 27th. We're in this together. #ClimateJustice #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/SxJN52xFLd
— Vancouver Film School (@vfs) September 20, 2019
It will still be business as usual at Langara College, Simon Fraser University, and the University of British Columbia, however, each of their presidents wrote that the institutions recognize the importance of climate change, and while classes are still scheduled to proceed, students will have to make separate arrangements with their instructors if they wish to participate in the Global Climate Strike.
The Vancouver School Board is allowing students to miss class to participate in the climate strike, as long as they have written permission from a parent or guardian.
VSB’s decision followed Richmond Superintendent Scott Robinson’s letter granting similar permission for students to attend climate rallies.
“There is ample evidence to support the argument that climate change is real and must be taken seriously,” he wrote.
“As a public school district, we play a crucial role in educating students about global warming and its potential impacts on our planet.”
Surrounding districts, including Coquitlam, Burnaby, Surrey, North Vancouver, Langley and Delta, have acknowledged the climate activities happening in downtown Vancouver, and have posted that with written permission students may be excused without being penalized. West Vancouver has said the same in an e-bulletin to parents and guardians.
The Vancouver Global Climate Strike is scheduled to kick off at 1 pm at Vancouver City Hall Friday with a three kilometre march planned to end at the intersection of Hamilton and Georgia.
–with files from Vincent Plana