Hundreds Rally Outside Canada Place to Demand Climate Action
September 24, 2021
Two years, a pandemic and a federal election later, Sustainabiliteens organized their first major public action. The hundreds that came out to the streets are a statement that youth have not and will not be complacent.
The traditional and unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm peoples (Vancouver, BC) — Youth from all over the Lower Mainland gathered at Jack Poole plaza for a public climate rally, organized by Sustainabiliteens, the group that brought 100 000 people to the streets of Vancouver during 2019. Two years and a global pandemic later, the rally is a reminder that youth have not and will not become complacent to slow government action.
“We cannot let the climate crisis fall off the radar,” explains Amber Leung, Sustainabiliteens organizer. “Climate strikes are not a one off thing. We have to keep coming back to make sure that climate stays in the conversation and that our voices are taken seriously.”
The action began with speeches from various youth organizations, including Climate Justice UBC, SFU350 and Climate Education Reform BC. The crowd was then led through chants, marching with banners and chalking through nearby streets.
The time to avert climate breakdown is rapidly coming to a close. The group is calling on the newly elected federal government to take prompt action toward: ending all fossil fuel expansion projects, starting with cancelling the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline; implementing all 94 calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation report; and investing in a just transition for workers and communities reliant on carbon-intensive industries.
“We always hear the same excuses, that climate action takes time, that change doesn’t happen overnight, that youth don’t understand how complex the world is. The government tries to justify delay after delay. We don’t have time for this, and we won’t stand for it,” says Sophia Bi, Sustainabiliteens organizer. “We want those in power to feel our power. This rally is just the beginning. The science is only becoming clearer, the urgency greater - and our movement is growing.”