Climate Strike

My First Student Climate Strike

A Middle-School Student Recounts her Experience at the Climate Strike in New York

My First Student Climate Strike
Clementine Porter at the New York Climate Strike

It was Friday morning, and I was pretty excited about the climate march. The day before we had watched a video about Greta Thunburg in Humanities class, and I learned that she was a kid, just a little older than me, who was leading the entire march, and I thought it was really cool that she was doing that.

She was from Sweden, which meant the only way to come to New York would be by plane or boat, but that would be a two-week journey in a little sailboat. But she did it, because taking a plane would pollute the earth even more than it already is. I knew that we don’t have much time left before the damage we do to the earth is irreversible, so anything makes a difference.

I took two buses to school like I do every morning, and arrived at 8:30 like every other day. At the end of second period the majority of our grade left, but a handful of kids stayed. I met my friends at the lockers and we all left together to go to the train. At the train, we saw a couple more kids from our school.

We finally got there. I walked up the concrete steps, gripping the sticky yellow railing touched by millions of New Yorkers every day.  We stepped out onto the sidewalk, greeted by a sea of people. People were holding up signs, chanting, climbing lamp posts. The march didn’t start for another hour, but it was still lively.

Blue Caps Everywhere

Me and my friends walked around Foley Square for a bit. There were blue police caps everywhere, and police officers with their blue outfits and shiny badges. There were people handing out free signs, and other people with walkie-talkies.

We slowly made our way into the park, making sure to hold onto each others’ backpacks so we wouldn’t get lost in the sea of people. A bunch of kids were climbing the pipes of a building and shouting from the rooftops. We stood there for a while, standing shoulder to shoulder with sweaty strangers, the sun beaming on us. We laughed and talked, yelling over everyone else.

I looked at my phone, 1:00 p.m. After a few minutes the crowd started moving, people were yelling “whoo!” We marched through the streets of Manhattan, the tall buildings scraping the clouds, blocking the sun above us. We marched about 30 minutes to Battery Park.

The park was jammed with people in front of a small stage. We managed to wiggle our way closer to the stage, but we still could barely see anything. My face was shiny with sweat, as a guy came on stage to read slam poetry. We listened for a while and then decided to head home. We squeezed through the crowd and walked toward the subway. We took the subway to our friend’s house, talking about the march.

It was hot, crowded, and a very long day, but I was kind of proud of myself. I helped make a difference. The earth and the climate are very damaged and some of the damage is irreversible, but a lot of the damage we can stop, and we are already one step closer to saving our home.

Posted or updated: 9/23/2019 12:00:00 AM