About 40 people gathered in front of the District of Hope municipal office on Friday, eager to share their message with the community.
They were joined by reportedly millions of like-minded individuals worldwide who did the same in their own communities, for a youth-led global climate change strike. While some major cities, including Vancouver, were forced to grind to a halt for the crowds that emerged, Hope’s strike was peaceful and kept to the grass and sidewalks.
“Save our planet,” read Kara Toop’s poster.
The Grade 9 Hope secondary student was one of about 10 who showed up to the strike. Fraser Cascade permitted students to leave to attend the strike, as long as parents permitted. Toop and others said they went to school until lunch, and most everyone left and didn’t plan to return for the afternoon.
They hope in the future that more of their peers will take the time to have their voices heard.
“I think we can make a huge chance with this (movement),” Toop said. “I think that our voices need to be heard. Look at us, we are all gathering to be heard.”
Cyenna Douglas, a Grade 8 student at HSS, said it was her first doing any sort of public activism.
“We have voices and we should use them, at least once in our lives,” she said.
But for some among the crowd, the strike was part of a long-held belief that humans should be doing more to protect the planet.
Joe Bowman said he was impressed with the turnout, for Hope’s first ever climate change action. He runs a sustainable farm near Union Bar where he teaches others about permaculture. He’s had more than 160 people visit from 27 countries.
When asked brought him to the strike on Friday, Bowman had a simple answer.