Thousands gathered in the streets of downtown Ottawa with their signs lifted high in support of the final day of the global climate strike on Friday, Sept. 27.
In the days prior to this event, Algonquin College president Claude Brulé sent out an email to all students and faculty informing them about the event. “We need to hear what our students have to say,” Brulé said. “This is a historical moment, and we want to make sure we’re a part of this.”
School faculty were notified to allow students to miss scheduled classes to attend the protest in support of the climate strike.
Shanti Cosentino, a member of the Students’ Association Board of Directors, spoke about the importance of students attending the protest.“We’re very much in support that if students want to attend, absolutely go for it,” Cosentino said. “It’s more effective if students go gather all together.”
The streets were flooded with protesters left, right and center, many of whom were students from across the city.
Jim Watson, Ottawa’s mayor, took the time to mingle among the protesters. He was seen sharing his thoughts and speaking with many as the protest moved along.
Hannah Soni-Mahoney, a second-year police foundations student at Algonquin College, attended the event and shared her thoughts.“Citizens have to pressure the big companies that are doing the most to pollute the earth,” said Soni-Mahoney.
Creativity was on full display, as thousands shared their clever puns as well as informant messages on their signs. There was in one particular who took it one step further wearing a full-on earth as a helmet.
You couldn’t blink twice before seeing yet another sign in the crowd.
Algonquin College had many representatives attend the protest on Friday, but maybe none more than the Indigenous community.
Crystal Michaud, an Aboriginal success specialist helped coordinate Algonquin Indigenous students to attend as a group and travel to the protest downtown.
Michaud spoke about the importance of making sure climate change is brought up more often and taken more seriously as protests such as these would help prove her point.
“We are not owners of the land,” Michaud said. “We are protectors and we all have to do our part.”
“I have three young children,” Michaud said. “As a mother, I just want to be more cognizant of how I affect climate change.”