24th of September 2021
Climate Justice Week
Written by Sophia El Bakir
24th of September 2021 was the day of the Climate Justice March in Montreal, and of course, Dawson mobilised to show their support to this extremely important cause.
Throughout the whole week leading up to that Friday, the Green Earth Club had meeting after meeting to paint posters for the protest, organise the logistics of the march, set up a General Assembly that would cancel classes, etc. Ultimately, a compromise was made and teachers were encouraged to be more amenable to students missing class.
On the day of the protest, a group of Dawson students had gathered and started marching in the halls of the college. They chanted all around the school, then made their way to McGill campus to unite forces with these university students.
“Dawson merging with McGill was really amazing. It fostered a sense of community and solidarity, which I think is super important in cases like these when we’re up against huge all-powerful conglomerates.” – A student at the protest
WHY THEY MARCHED
While obviously not as busy as the 2019 protest with Greta Thunberg that gathered half a million people, this one still garnered thousands of people from all ages and of course, students from colleges and universities.
They decide to cut time out of their busy day and take part in this act of civil disobedience for a myriad of reasons: they want to see change; they had witnessed the devastating effects of global warming during the pandemic; they want their children to live in a world where forests are not razed to the ground but planted instead.
“I wanted to go to the protest because I’m frustrated by the lack of action coming from our government. After being 500 000 in the streets in 2019, we have seen little policies or initiatives,” Chloe Shepard, Green Earth Club member.
Indeed, the goal of this march was to express a global frustration, so that change would be provoked. Marches are an opportunity for solidarity in the face of a crisis. Whether they are from the same school, or from the same ethnicity, people put their differences aside to send one powerful message.
WHAT TO DO MORE
Nonetheless, showing up at protest is not enough for long-lasting shifts to ensue. As it appears, many students have expressed concern about the ephemeral effect of Climate Justice Week.
Mia Kennedy, Green Earth Club executive says, “It’s incredible to see that many take time out of their day to come march,” but at the same time she amends, “I have to hold myself back from too much excitement because I know that this amount of support is temporary. The day of the march comes. Everyone is excited to talk about climate. The day of the march passes. Everyone forgets. I’m just hoping that people can get excited about the climate more than once a year. Whether it’s through your vote, your habits, your way of seeing the world, there are so many ways people can positively contribute to the movement.”