On Friday, Sept. 20, more than four million people worldwide participated in a global climate strike to demand change three days before the United Nations Climate Action Summit, according to NBC News, including about 40 students from Eckerd after encouragement and participation by Scubi Jew Club.
Scubi Jew President Melissa Pielet addressed the crowd before the march in Downtown St. Peter's at a press conference.
“We are talking about the future of everyone we love and everything on this planet that makes us smile,” Pielet said in her speech. “Our futures are being robbed so that a select group of people can make gross amounts of money. We have the power to make today historic, to change the narrative.”
Many local organizations in St. Petersburg sponsored the event, including Eckerd’s Scubi Jew, Florida Suncoast Sierra Club, Tampa Bay Watch, Greenpeace St. Pete and NextGen Florida, among others.
Local students, teachers, scientists and St. Petersburg residents made up the crowd of more than 1000 protestors, according to Florida Suncoast Sierra Club.
The crowd began in front of city hall, then walked about 14 blocks around the Sundial area and Beach Drive to finish back in Williams Park, yelling chants like “Get up, get down, leave fossil fuels in the ground” and “Once you frack, you can’t go back”.
Pielet, a senior environmental studies major, helped recruit Eckerd students to come to the strike through flyers, social media posts and an event hosted by Scubi Jew on Tuesday, Sept. 17 to make posters.
“We have everything to gain from climate action, and everything to lose from inaction,” Pielet said in her speech. “We are gathered here today to gain the political will necessary to insure we have a hopeful future. We need to move away from a carbon based economy as quickly and as practically as possible.”