Climate Crisis: A Protester’s Perspective
“We are just standing here, and we are just people. But together we can make change.”
~ Marin Potter, class of 2021
On August 20th, 2018, Greta Thunberg, a then fifteen-year-old from Sweden, started the global phenomenon that has struck the world: A call to action to prevent climate change. Now she is arguably one of the most famous activists of the 21st century, with accomplishments ranging from an appearance on The Daily Show to a speech in front of the United States Congress. Her efforts to educate and warn people about the climate crisis has inspired millions of adolescents across the world to join the movement to change the track of climate change. On September 20th, 2019, students from Henderson High School added their voices to the protest against the ignorance of this global issue.
The rally was held at the steps of the Chester County Courthouse on the 20th at 11:00 A.M. Henderson students poured out of the school with signs in their hands and backpacks on their shoulders.
From grandparents chanting for their grandchildren’s futures, to elementary school kids holding homemade signs, we were protesting against something that was bigger than all of us. The energy of the rally was welcoming, hopeful, and insistent that something can and will be done—and it starts with us. Each speaker inspired and encouraged the crowd. One such speaker attending the rally was Henderson sophomore Sophie Neiblum, who was later joined by freshmen Ella Slossburg and J Howe and junior Maren Potter. Several local politicians spoke as well, including former West Chester mayor and current state representative of the West Chester area, Carolyn Commita. While the voices changed, the message stayed the same—something must be done, and soon.
Under that umbrella, several issues—both local and national—were brought up, including the Sunoco Pipeline and the Green New Deal. Stories of heartbreak and hope were told, and the voice of a new generation dedicated to saving their future was heard. It was incredible to experience the demand for progress in our hometown and to simultaneously watch those same demands be echoed across the world.
While Thunberg stood alone a year ago, on the 20th she marched with millions at her back. Without knowing what the future holds, there’s certainly a promise of something so much better if the dedication of this group of fantastic activists continues.