‘It’s our planet, too!’

Dylan Underwood led the global climate strike demonstration Sept. 27 in Peace River.

Susan Thompson
South Peace News

Peace River students organized a walk in solidarity with global climate strikes Sept. 27.

Five students started walking downtown at about 12:10 p.m., and were joined by a group of people along the way.

The walk was organized by 12-year-old Dylan Underwood.

“We need a change because right now we’re not really doing anything,” Underwood says.

He was inspired to organize his own action after watching teen activist Greta Thunberg speak in a video in his Language Arts class, and not seeing anyone else organizing to join her locally. Thunberg first started the Fridays for Future movement as a solo protest in her home country of Sweden.

Underwood says he organized an action because no one else in Peace River was doing it.

“I haven’t seen anyone do this so I choose to be the first person,” Underwood says.

Asked how he feels about the turnout, Underwood says, “I’m not surprised.”

“I thought there would only be like six of my friends but turns out there is so many people.”

The protestors demonstrated in front of town hall and asked to speak with Peace River Mayor Tom Tarpey, who was unavailable. They then walked downtown and stopped to protest in front of MLA Dan Williams’ office, which was closed, before walking back to the town office and demonstrating there again.

While they walked, they chanted, “It’s our planet too!”

and “What do we want? Change!”

Some local adults on Facebook were quick to accuse the students of just trying to skip school. However, students say they are walking because they want a future.

“There won’t be any school if we don’t do this,” Underwood says.

Students of Glenmary School were allowed to join in the climate strike so long as they had parent permission.

Thousands of protestors also walked in Edmonton and Calgary and other cities across Canada.

Thunberg spoke at climate strike actions in Montreal where estimates say tens of thousands of people turned out, joining millions of people around the world.

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