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Global climate change strike hits Madison streets

MADISON (WKOW) – Around the world Friday, massive protests from students and workers demanding action on climate change.

Chants for action all over the country were joined by voices in Madison, as dozens of students from East High School shut down a portion of East Washington Avenue to encourage action on climate change.

“The East students care about what is happening with climate change and we are demanding our lawmakers to take action now,” Lydia Hester, one of the senior student organizers, said. “If they don’t take action we’ll vote them out.”

The students on their lunch break spent around 10 minutes chanting and writing messages in chalk on the street.

“By using chalk and letting them say what they wanted to say I feel like we were actually able to see what kids actually felt like,” Clio Maya-Johnson, one of the other organizers, said.

The protest outside of East High School was just the start of the afternoon’s climate demonstrations in Madison, continuing all afternoon with multiple marches echoing across the country.

The location for the strike outside of the MG&E Blount Street Generation Station was a very specific choice for the demonstrators.

“MG&E has promised to go carbon neutral but that’s not enough,” Preston Bellini, an organizer for the bigger strike with Youth Climate Action Team, said. “We need to go 100 percent renewable so we can have a sustainable Wisconsin.”

The rally gathered Nearly 3000 people from all around Madison and southeast Wisconsin to hear from speakers and then march back to the capitol.

It was all a combined effort with similar rallies across the country.

Something that gave the demonstrators here hope.

“It creates unity to show that there is an outcry of support for this organization and an outcry for support of legislation to declare a climate emergency and go 100 percent renewable,” Bellini said.

In response to their cries, MG&E sent out a statement saying they’re taking their requests seriously.

“Our 2050 goal signals our direction but it doesn’t determine our pace,” Jeff Keebler, MG&E CEO said.”I believe we can go further, faster by working together with our customers.”


Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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