Thousands of Brooklyn students joined others from around the tri-state area in walking out of school today, going on a “global climate strike” in protest against climate change, pollution and in favor of preservation of the environment.
Students massed at Brooklyn Borough Hall this morning armed with posters and signs blasting government policies that are causing damage to the environment and seeking increased use of recyclables and energy policies that reduce use of fossil fuels.
Police say up to 20,000 protestors crossed the bridge to join the protestors in Manhattan.
The protests come as President Donald Trump’s administration continues to erode air and water quality standards and ease restrictions on industries that pollute the environment. It also comes as some states fight the administration on air pollution regulations on automobiles.
Borough President Eric Adams led chants of “save the planet” as students jammed the steps of Borough Hall before embarking on a trek across the Brooklyn Bridge to join the main march at Foley Square in Manhattan.
Some of those joining him were students from New York City College of Technology; Park Place Community Middle School; PS 54 The Magnet School for Environmental Science, Technology and Community Wellness; Cobble Hill School for American Studies; PS 676 Red Hook Neighborhood School, and Khalil Gibran International Academy.
“It is time for young people to take control of their destiny and the time is now,” Adams told the crowd of thousands through a megaphone at the base of the steps of his office. “This is your moment to say we are not going to destroy our planet. We are not going to allow big corporations to continue to pollute. We are not going to allow gun violence to destroy our youth. It’s time for young people to take control of this.”
It could’ve been a sunny day to cut school and go to the beach, but thousands showed they cared about the future of the planet.
“Climate change is a real big problem and we need to exercise our right to protest and let people know this a big problem,” said Corbin Battis, 11, a student a Cobble Hill School fo American Studies of Red Hook. “It’s better to sit here and protest than to just take off and go to the beach.”
“Climate change is a big thing that a lot of people have been fighting to prevent,” said Ella Kenny, 12, CHS School in Boreum Hill. “It’s really gotten started because of all of us – and since we started it, we should end it (climate change).”
“We are here to march to tell the government to do something about climate change,” said Samyah Victor, 17, a student of International Academy. “It is a big deal, if nothing happens, climate change will get worse – it’s too hot and we have to do something about it.”
Alex Triprodi of Brooklyn Tech High walked with his friend across the Brooklyn Bridge in support of fighting climate change: “If we went to the beach, we wouldn’t get anything done. We live on this earth and we are trying to survive, this sure will help to make sure future generations can live here.”
Catie Igle of Gowanus, of the Boreum School of International Studies, said she felt an obligation to be on hand for this protest said she missed a quiz today, but felt this was more important. “We are here because climate change is causing many disasters and the polar ice caps are melting and soon, this planet will be in a lot of trouble,” Igle said. “It may not sound like I can do much, but if we all get together, we can make change.”
Her mother Karen Igle said she approved of her daughter “going on strike.”
“They have to go on strike because of climate change,” Igle said while standing next to her daughter. “I’m originally from France and we go on strike all the time – it is a national past time. America should go on strike more often for these important issues. It is a right to go on strike.”
Nicole Pickett of Red Hook walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to Foley Square with daughter Lila Schwartz, 11. She said she fully supports this demonstration. “It is an important day when children are taking charge of something that effects them an that is climate change,” Pickett said. “They are working hard being young activists and they can make a difference – and I support her and her friend.”
Protestors gathered in Foley Square and then marched as far at Battery Park to continue the protest in view of the Statue of Liberty.