VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — At noon Friday Vancouver students will be walking out of classes and leaving cafeterias empty, lying down in the streets to protest the deadly effects of climate change.
It’s the kick off to a week’s worth of climate protests happening in Vancouver and around the world.
Friday’s protest in Vancouver is being called a “die-in.”
Samantha Lin with Sustainabiliteens Vancouver says she hopes hundreds will take part.
— Sustainabiliteens – Climate Strike Vancouver (@sustainteens) September 11, 2019
The precise location of Friday’s action isn’t being disclosed, but it will be downtown.
“At a designated time we’ll get the signal. Then we’ll all kind of lie on the floor to symbolize being dead from the danger of climate change specifically. The point is to draw attention from passersby and also highlight the dangers of climate change,” Lin says.”It’s also about climate justice it’s about standing up for people in developing countries who will feel the impacts more. It’s about standing up for people in Indigenous communities who don’t have regular access to clean water.”
Students in other Canadian cities and towns are expected to stage similar die-ins at the same time.
She says it’s not clear if students who walk out of school to join in the action will be sanctioned, but missing class is part of the message.
“The whole point is to show that students are prioritizing climate action. We’re prioritizing climate action over attending school because we know that this is the most urgent issue of our time. We’re prioritizing it to demonstrate that we thinks adults when they’re voting should prioritize climate. Leaders, politicians if they want to get elected they need to prioritize climate.”
The BC Teacher’s Federation has issued a statement in support of students, urging administrators to excuse absences.
“BCTF members are deeply moved by the voices and actions of youth involved in the climate strike movement. Through climate strikes, youth have clearly communicated their urgent plea for action to address the climate emergency,” it says.
#BCed students in the #ClimateStrike movement have our support! We’re asking school boards to support students who wish to attend the September 20/27 events by encouraging administrators to excuse student absences and provide assistance to teachers planning field trips. #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/r8vdXYZbde
— BCTF (@bctf) September 18, 2019
Locally, the die-in will be followed by a week’s worth of actions – from Chalk for Change on Saturday to an Art Build on Wednesday.
On Friday, September 27 high school and university students in Canada are inviting parents, unions, businesses, and the general public to join in on a strike for climate action. They hope it will be one of the largest protests in Canadian history.
Worldwide, climate strikes have already begun. Thousands of protesters have gathered at rallies around Australia. Global Climate Strike says demonstrations will happen in over 150 countries.
The protests culminate next Friday, at the start of the UN climate summit in New York.