About 30 people including a dozen youth – with the youngest one aged three – participated in North Saanich’s first Fridays for Future protest outside municipal hall on Oct. 2.
The Fridays for Future movement inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg is a global international climate movement that tries to raise awareness and generate action in the fight against climate change.
It aims primarily at mobilizing youth in arguing that young people will bear the consequences of climate change, with scientists warning that humanity has a decade to prevent the worst effects of climate change.
Attendees also included Mayor Geoff Orr, Couns. Couns. Patricia Pearson and Murray Weisenberger, SeaChange Marine Conservation Society, and a representative of the Tseycum First Nation.
Anne-Marie Daniel, a former member of North Saanich’s now-disbanded climate change select committee, helped organize the event and said it sparked good conversations. She also hopes the next event scheduled for Oct. 23 will draw a bigger crowd.
“This one wasn’t planned in advance very well, so we might get a few more people,” she said. “But you know, it was fun. It went on for 45 minutes. It was a good gathering of people, good conversations. It was fun for a first start.”
Daniel said earlier that the community appears to be “divided” over the issue of climate change and she wondered why the level of support (as measured by cars honking while driving by the protest site on Mills Road) was not higher. But she nonetheless struck an optimistic note in light of Friday’s turnout.
“The main thing is that there were at least 12 young people, who made signs, who were by the side of road, who felt that was important,” she said.