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Students on strike: Rochester youth turn out for global climate

September 20, 2019 08:38 PM

Young activists around the world marched in the global climate strike Friday.

In Rochester, well over 100 people gathered at Peace Plaza, demanding change.

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“I got involved in this because it’s my future. Oceans are rising, glaciers are melting,” said Salma Abdi, the lead organizer of the strike in Rochester.

“I’m really mad that we have to be the ones to do this, because adults in power aren’t doing it. They are the ones who are supposed to be supporting it, fighting for our rights, but we as a generation have to stand up and say no,” Abdi said.

“It’s sad that it goes from generation to generation, but we have, I think today, a population of kids, young people who are going to do everything they can, and that’s my hope,” said Jay Youmans, a 77-year-old Rochester resident.

From Peace Plaza, the marchers made their way to City Hall growing in size along the way. 

The march took place in the afternoon, which prompted many students to miss school, including Hanan Sharif.

“The reason why I missed school is because if we didn’t protest for our environment, we might not have a school to go to,” she said.

According to a statement from Rochester Public Schools, students who left campus or didn’t come to school would receive an unexcused absence, unless it was called in by a parent.

RPS did say it’s proud of students for exercising their first amendment rights, and will not discipline those who participated in an on-campus walkout.

“I’m ready to face every single consequence that’s coming, because I want to get an education, I want to go to college, I want to fulfill my dreams, but I won’t be able to do that if I’m stuck in class not fighting for our rights,” Abdi said.

Credits

Talia Milavetz

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