Barrie Climate Strike, 2019
On September 27, 2019, at least 1,000 people, young and old, came together at Barrie City Hall demanding to be heard. Their focus was the imminent and long-term threats of man-made climate change. They then marched through downtown to congregate at Meridian Place, where a combination of speakers and musicians inspired the crowd to demand immediate change to save our future.
Less than two weeks later, Barrie City Council voted on a motion presented by Councillor Keenan Aylwin and decided uninimously to declare a climate emergency. In doing so, they joined a list of almost 300 municipalities that have vowed to take direct action to limit their community's carbon footprint and to take direct action to fight climate change. The massive march by students and voting age citizens was referred to several times during council's discussion of options.
The Climate Strike action, that involved students cutting school and adults skipping work, was inspired by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who in 2018 began spending her school days sitting outside of the Swedish parliament demanding greater action on global warming by holding up a sign saying (translated from Swedish) "School strike for climate".
Greta’s cause gained a lot of media attention and then support, resulting in her speaking this year to the United Nations. She has also been featured on the cover of Time magazine and has become a subject of scorn for President Trump and his oil and coal financed supporters. Some media have referred to her influence as the "Greta Thunberg effect".
Time magazine also included Greta as one of the one hundred most influential people of 2019 and she is a focus of Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s new book ‘Gutsy Women’. Greta has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
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Videography by John Ironside and Tiffany Scott
Post-Production by John Ironside