Climate strike draws over four million students worldwide

The recent climate strike drew students from over 185 countries to bring awareness to climate change


Lillian Gottschling

Signs resting against their legs, students sit down for a mid-protest break, following the daunting walk up the hill. Met with mixed reactions from drivers and pedestrians, students spread their messages on the hot-button issue, hoping to gain local support.

Last Friday, September 20th, an estimated four million people showed up to events held in over 185 countries in a mass strike to bring attention to climate change. Organized by Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old climate activist, the strike came three days before world leaders gathered in New York for a U.N Climate session. 

“We are not some young people skipping school,” Thunberg said, speaking to protesters in Manhattan on Friday. “We are a wave of change. Together, we are unstoppable.”

Thousands showed up to the climate strike event held in Portland. Among the student-led protesters, West Linn student Izzy Englund, 11, walked with the protesters in Downtown Portland. For Englund, attending the strike was about doing her part to make her voice heard.

We need things to change, and I’m willing to do everything I can to spark that change.

— Izzy Englund, junior

“I wanted to go because I know we have a limited amount of time to fix this, and I realize that there’s only so much I can do as a high school student,” Englund said. “However, we need things to change, and I’m willing to do everything I can to spark that change.”

Like other strikes across the world, Portland’s strike drew thousands of people to Downtown Portland for the day, filling the Hawthorne bridge with protesters. Englund said seeing the number of people was shocking.

“We marched across the Hawthorne bridge, and it was such an amazing feeling,” Englund said. “Once we made it across, I looked back and saw that the bridge was still covered with people, and many more still waiting to get on.”

While the strike as centralized around the fact that students would be leading it, people of all ages took part in the movement. For Englund, the number of people who shared a common goal of bringing awareness to climate change made her feel the power of the strike.

“It was incredible to be a part of these people who care about these people who care about the environment as much, if not more than I do,” Englund said. “There were people from every generation, but a lot of high school students like me. It was amazing, and I felt supported, to say the least.”