Student Voices Heard in Warsaw Climate Strike

by Taylor Bata

March 15, 2019, a day to remember for a multitude of reasons, but for the estimated 12 thousand youths marching in Warsaw, it was their opportunity to raise their concerns about climate change.

Organized by Młodzieżowy Strajk Klimatyczny, a student group based in Warsaw, this protest took the streets from the Place of Culture and Science, all the way to the steps of the Ministry of Energy. Across the globe, students from over 100 countries skipped school to spread the word. In Warsaw, the main message was for the Polish government to reduce their use of coal (a main source of energy for this country).

The energy from the crowd was electric, as the leaders of the march took to the stage, leading everyone in chants of protest promoting “solidarity.” This was followed by impassioned speeches from guests, strung together with songs that hinted at the situation we are faced with. As the speakers blared Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” adults looked on from the windows of nearby apartments. Some in the crowd remarked that this, “created the image of us [the students] yelling to a greater power for change.”

Several members from the environmental club were spotted in the protest, such as Igne, the leader and founder of the club, and Tomek, who acted as a makeshift translator for the non-Polish speaking ASW students in the event.  

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Igne being interviewed

There were many vibrant posters that colored the march, all created by students on a mission to raise awareness for global climate change.

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“You like jazz? No climate change.”

One of the most eye-catching outfits of the day was created by Zosia, a protester from from a local Warsaw Scout group. She was dressed up as a queen bee holding a poster styled in the likeness of Barry B. Benson, from the Bee Movie. Her attire was a week in the making, and she was happy she was able to make it about something she is very passionate about.

“I am a bee, because bees are dying, and in the case of global warming the CO2 is killing bees as much as pesticides. So in this way I just wanted to say that we have to save them, because bees make food, and pollinate flowers- essentially everything for us. We can’t live without them so that is why I am dressed up as one.”

As the protest ended, the students walked out with their heads held high. There was no doubt that the voices from the past hours had been heard throughout the city, and even if the change does not come about in a day, it is clear that the voices from Generation Z will not be quiet when it comes to the fate of our planet.

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