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Crowd of young people at Fridays for Future strikes keeps growing

Hundreds of students march to raise awareness, encourage action

Climate crusader Sophia Mathur, 12, was impressed by the hundreds of young people who participated in the Fridays for Future climate strike today.

Sophia has been striking every Friday since Nov. 2, 2018, because she said she wants adults who are determining her future to realize action is needed now to make the climate crisis an issue.

On Friday, hundreds of students from area high schools and elementary schools gathered at the Fraser Auditorium to rally against climate change.

“Everything is going well,” she said. “We have hundreds of kids here, which is the most we've had at our strikes.”

The majority of those in attendance on Friday are too young to be making decisions for the world. The purpose of the event is to encourage world leaders to make better decisions.

“The future they are handing us is not a good one,” Sophia said. “We are running out of time. Seeing kids caring about climate change inspires people. You don't usually see kids out on the street protesting, so it's get more people's attention, and it's empowering for us.”

Adam Kirkwood is a member of the organizing committee for Friday's event, which was designed to show youth they do have to power to make changes.

“I am 100-per-cent confident kids today are more aware of climate change,” Kirkwood said. “When I was a kid, I knew about climate change, but I wasn't concerned enough to organize strikes like this. Seeing this is inspiring, and a lot of these kids are well educated on climate change and its negative side effects on the planet.”

The group marched about 2.6 kilometres through Laurentian University and beyond before catching buses back to their respective schools.

A petition with at least 1,800 signatures will be presented to city council on May 28 with hopes the city's leaders will join them in declaring a climate emergency.