What Do We Want? Climate Justice!: Dawson students
By Jessica Gearey, Dawson News Team
About 500 Dawson students were part of an estimated 500,000 people marching in Montreal on Sept. 27. They all had one thing in common: the desire to take action on climate change. Students started gathering at 10 a.m. in front of the Dawson Theatre. They wanted to use their voices to let politicians know that they will not back down and they will keep fighting for their future.
Laura Krochenski and the Dawson Green Earth Club had a busy week. From organizing student events to taking part in a press conference, the Green Earth Club was prepared to revolutionize.
“I’ve always loved to learn about the world and see what the world has to offer.” Krochenski said. “I’m hoping that governments and corporations are going to look at the signs that are laid out in front of them and take action. I hope that they will realize that we won’t stop until they do.” Many students had the same idea as Krochenski.
Sheena Doyle, who is in the Enriched Health Science program, also expressed the concern with lack of action from the government. “They need to accept responsibility for their lack of action,” she said. “We need to encourage them to make changes so our future can be protected and not gravely affected by climate change.”
Dawson students left the college and joined students from Concordia and McGill and then walked together to Mount Royal. The unity of students was unstoppable.
“What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!” is only one of the chants students yelled together. The chant was chilling. Goosebumps rose on arms, shivers were sent through spines, this was an experience like no other.
Claudia Filiatrault, who is a part of the Cinema & Communications program was moved by the outpouring of support.
“I’m just happy that so many people came and were so committed,” she said. Claudia also expressed how she wanted to support Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist who led the march. “I wanted to show that teenagers want to help change the planet for the better, by making more thoughtful decisions.”
A number of students vocalized the changes they want made by the government and the general public. Marlo and her friends, who are all students at Dawson, shared what they want done to reduce the effects of climate change.
“I would like to see more single use plastics banned,” one of her friends chimed in. “We need to show companies that they don’t rule over everything, and they’re not as big as they think they are,” she said with passion burning through her words.
Many students were frustrated that they had to miss school in order to get their message heard by politicians. “It’s not supposed to be us students, who are out of school, missing school to do their job,” one student said.
Students want to look forward to the future. Krochenski commented on that thought saying: “I have a lot of things that I want to do in my life, and I don’t like being told that I might not get to do those things.”
A long day, but it was all worth it. “I’m so proud,” Krochenski said. “Just looking at the pictures and videos, it feels surreal that it even happened. Seeing all the students together and really believing that they can make a change, was one of the coolest experiences that I’ve ever been part of. It was really rewarding to see all this and I’m extremely proud of every single person,” she added.
Doyle described the experience as empowering and how, as a first-year student, it showed her that Dawson is more than just school. “It showed me that the school really cares, and that it’s more than just classes. It shows that they are active in relevant issues.”
The support of Dawson students is indescribable. Students are ready to take on the government and their time has run out for making excuses. The Dawson community was there to scream and yell for what they want and they are not going to give up because this is just the beginning.
Photo credit: Nicolas Khoury, Dawson News Team
Social Media Coverage
Instagram stories of the Climate March by students Sidonie Barsalou and Marie-Lou Dagenais:
Check out The Dawson Green Earth Club’s Climate March photos on Facebook: