Citizens demand climate justice

Hundreds gather for climate strike in Dallas


Signs and Skyline

by Joelle Tindal, Reporter

As part of a global climate strike on Sept. 20, roughly 500 protestors gathered on the Continental Avenue Bridge in Dallas between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Several speakers, including representatives from organizations such as Veterans for Peace and the Environmental Justice Committee, rallied the crowd before a march along the bridge that began at 8 p.m. The topics of each speech varied, but all shared the same message: climate awareness. 

“I think that climate change is a really serious issue that needs to be addressed quickly,” senior Alia Childers said. “And the people who have the power to address it aren’t [doing so].”

Multiple guest speakers, including president of Veterans for Peace North Texas Ron Unger and two representatives from Lush, called upon protestors to vote in the upcoming primaries and presidential election. 

“I know that we, as a generation, have been forced upon to act,” University of North Texas freshman Michael Fish said. “Use your voice as if your life depends on it, because it does.”

Around 8 p.m., after all the guest speakers had given their speeches, the youth led the group along the bridge in multiple chants that defined their cause in simple, catchy phrases. 

“No more coal, no more oil, keep your carbon in the soil,” protesters said.

Marchers traveled along the length of the bridge before turning around to return to the event’s starting point on the southwestern portion of the bridge. After a 15 minute period during which protestors stood together and circulated through chants, they participated in a “die-in.” Members traced each other’s outlines in chalk after lying down (“dying”) on the concrete with phrases such as “Victim of Capitalism” written within.

“The people of the world know what’s happening and they know that it needs to change,” Childers said.

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  • Speeches and Signs Protestors attend the climate strike in Dallas and listen to guest speakers. Between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 pm, multiple guest speakers represented from various organizations and spoke about their causes to unite the crowd. “If people could see [air pollution] with their naked eye, there would be no fracking boom and we would have renewable energy right now,” Earthworks representative Sharon Wilson said. Photo credit: Alia Childers

  • Rousing Speech by Student University of North Texas freshman Michael Fish gives a speech and energizes the crowd. Fish, the second-to-last speaker, caused the assembled protestors to break out into cheering and applause during his speech. “The only way we can get the changes that we need to survive is to give our politicians an ultimatum,” Fish said. “‘Stand with us, or stand out of our way.’” Photo credit: Joelle Tindal

  • Outlines in Chalk During the “die-in” portion of the strike, participants lay down, having their outlines traced in chalk. Many outlines had phrases written that related to the desire to make the severity of the climate’s condition clear. “Climate change killed me,” read one. Photo credit: Joelle Tindal

  • Peak of the Protest The crowd unites under multiple chants following the march. At 9:00 p.m., protestors gathered at the ending point of the march, raising their signs and participating in a “die-in.” “The people have spoken. Are you listening?” the group said in unison. Photo credit: Alia Childers

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