State High Students Rally in Support of Action Against Climate Change


Photo courtesy of Jenna Relkin

State High ralliers call their local officials to advocate for climate change on March 15th, 2019. The rally was organized by State High Senior Abbie La Porta. “The Youth Climate Strike is doing so many amazing things around the country right now. We just started so small and ended up reaching out and finding young people all over who resonated with our message and who are also scared for their futures” La Porta said.

Emma Corby, Staff Writer

“When the air we breathe is under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back! When the water we drink is under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back! When the Earth we need is under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!”

This chant was heard coming from a crowd of over 50 State High students and community members as they protested climate change in front of the Allen Street Gates on March 15th, 2019. The rally was organized by Abbie La Porta, a State High senior who has coordinated similar events all over the state. “I was brought into the U.S. Youth Climate Strike when it was just a little baby organization by my friend Haven Coleman. Now we have rallies going on today all around the country via thousands of students striking from school,” La Porta said.

The rally was held in an effort to make the public aware of the climate change affecting the world, and to notify local politicians of the concerns of the people. Climate change is defined by the Google dictionary as: “A change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.”

Many claim that climate change is a hoax and attribute the uncommon weather patterns to natural causes. “Look at the facts. There are hundreds and hundreds of statistics and facts going in the opposite direction of what they’re thinking,” junior Madeline Lawrence, an attendee of the rally, said.

Similarly, Junior Gwen Michaels said of climate change, “It could be direct or indirect but we need to look into it and that’s what the research shows. Even if it doesn’t affect you, your children your brothers or sisters their children it’s going to affect them.” Different people took turns speaking about their own experiences with climate change in front of the group. The ages and experiences were varied, including young children, State High students, and other adult community members.

Halfway through the rally, organizers brought out a sign listing the names and phone numbers of local officials. Attendees took a five-minute break to call and state their complaints. La Porta spoke of her goal in respect to this action. She said, “We need to force politicians to start a conversation about climate change and to urge them to support the green new deal because that is the only solution that we’re seeing that really addresses climate change on the level that we need to.”