Thousands came together in favour of climate action on Friday morning for Halifax’s climate strike.
Halifax’s climate strike march brought out protestors of all ages to the centre of the city.
Beginning at Victoria Park in Halifax, throngs of people joined together chanting and carrying homemade signs — many of them on the backs of recycled cardboard — calling out for immediate change to help the climate crisis.
The climate strikes are a global movement in protest of the lack of action against climate change. Climate strikes like the one in Halifax are taking place in cities all across Canada and the world. Halifax is one of eight climate strikes across the province.
The march was filled with lively chanting and cheering. A particularly popular one, “What do we want? Climate action! When do we want it? Now!” could be heard throughout the city.
Halifax Regional Police estimate about 10,000 people took part in the march. The march began at 11 a.m. and continued for a couple of hours before finishing up with speakers at the Grand Parade.
Protestors of all ages came out for the cause, but the march was evidently lead by youth. Students were out in large droves and spoke passionately about the environment and the need for change.
“If I don’t come out here, if people don’t come out here, to support the cause against climate change then no real change is going to happen. We need to send a message,” said Jakob Conrad, 18. He believes the march certainly sent a message today.
“No one’s doing enough for the environment. We need to do something about it,” said Matthew Lloyd, 18.
His sentiments were echoed by another student, 18-year-old Anna Gleasson.
“I’m out here today because things are really messed up. They need to change if we want to have a future and the only way is for there to be action now,” said Gleasson.
Countless families and children were apart of the action, many carrying homemade signs.
“The oceans are rising and so are we” read one sign. “Where will Santa Claus live?” read another. “You think my tantrums are bad wait until you see mother nature’s” read the back of a toddler’s shirt.
The march started at Victoria Park and went down Spring Garden, taking a right onto Barrington, then down Morris Street towards Nova Scotia Power.
The group stopped and chanted for more than 15 minutes at Nova Scotia Power before heading onwards down Lower Water Street. The crowd looped up towards the Grand Parade Square, but not before splitting off in two directions because the crowd had grown so large.
The march completely took over downtown Halifax. Many protesters said they were thrilled by the turnout.
“This crowd extends all the way down Barrington, and then scoops down and goes back down the Harbourfront and cuts all the way back up the street again,” said 18-year-old student Aline Maybank.
“We’ve created this huge loop and it’s so dense there are people up on the sidewalks and standing against the buildings. It’s just amazing,” she said.
When the march ended at Grand Parade Square, it was quickly filled. People were spilling out onto the street and towards City Hall, taking any spot possible.
For students like Maybank, this experience has been inspiring and has instilled a sense of hope.
“This feels amazing. I feel so empowered to make changes I can make by myself because now I know I’m not alone.”