Parents, teachers have role to play in youth climate movement, supporters say

Parents and teachers have a role to play in the youth movement to demand government action on climate change, say organizers of Monday’s rally and teach-in.

Organizers of the event, co-hosted by Parents 4 Climate and the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, wanted to show their support for young activists and help propel the movement forward.

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Kate Lawes, a mother of two and member of Parents 4 Climate, said the adults are coming out to support the youth in ways only adults can, such as voting and providing equipment, supplies and funds. But the students are leading the way.

“[The youth] still really are wanting to have that role, but be supported, and feel strong in that role,” Lawes said.

Parents, teachers, children and environmental groups took over the lawn in front of the legislature Monday afternoon for the rally and teach-in.

The event took place on a professional development day for teachers. Lawes said they picked the day so educators could attend without missing school.

Tara Ehrcke, a teacher and chairwoman of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association Climate Action Committee, said in addition to showing support for the youth, organizers wanted the event to offer information on how individuals can take concrete action.

“We also felt that it was really important to get people talking to each other about how we’re going to continue this movement and how we’re going to actually

make the change that I think we all so clearly see is necessary,” Ehrcke said.

The rally and teach-in is one of many climate action events planned for the week in Victoria. Similar events are taking place all over the world, culminating in a global strike on Friday.

Ehrcke plans to attend the global strike event at the legislature on Friday and said some teachers will also attend either by taking a personal day or by bringing their students on a field trip. The walkout is scheduled for 11 a.m., with a rally at the legislature starting at noon.

Today, friends of Carmanah-Walbran will be leading a picket line at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy building on Superior Street from 8 to 10 a.m. Organizers are calling for a moratorium on old-growth logging in B.C.

regan-elliott@timescolonist.com

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