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Youth-led Global Climate Strike events planned on Maui

By Staff | Sep 19, 2019

Malama Maui Nui will hold a Kahului Harbor cleanup on Sept. 21 at 8 a.m. to kickoff the “Get the Drift and Bag It!” campaign. For information, visit www.malamamauinui.org/volunteer.

KAHULUI – As part of the Global Climate Strike with over 2,500 events planned worldwide, Maui youth are planning a series of events with the support of various local and national environmental organizations.

The Global Climate Strike was inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist and founder of the #FridaysForFuture movement.

The global events run from Sept. 20-27, surrounding the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23, where Greta will speak to the U.N.

The website globalclimatestrike.net calls on individuals worldwide to “join youth in the streets for global climate strikes, and a week worth of actions, demanding an end to the age of fossil fuels and climate justice for everyone.”

On Friday, Sept. 20, there will be a youth-led rally and sign-waving event to call for climate action locally and internationally. This event is open to the public, welcoming all ages to attend.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own homemade signs and a reusable water bottle, as this is a zero-waste event.

“Climate change is an unprecedented issue of our time, and as youth of Hawaii, we are going to be the ones most affected by climate change. We are taking a stand now, not later. Our issues are at their peak. We need to take initiative while we’re still capable of making a significant difference,” said Kyrie Sisouvong, a sophomore at Baldwin High School and school ambassador from Hawaii Youth Climate Strike.

The event will begin at 4 p.m. with a short rally on the University of Hawaii Maui College Great Lawn, followed by sign-waving on Kaahumanu Avenue at 4:30 p.m..

After the sign-waving, there will be live music, short speeches by youth climate activists, and climate action-oriented opportunities provided by event co-sponsors.

The event is hosted by the Student Ohana for Sustainability Club (SOS) at UHMC and planned in collaboration with Hawaii Youth Climate Strike, The Climate Reality Project Hawaii Chapter, 350Hawaii.org, Sierra Club Maui Chapter, Maui Huliau Foundation and Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

This event on Maui is one of six total strikes in the state being organized by Hawaii Youth Climate Strike, 350.org, The Climate Reality Project and other groups.

The SOS Club will also host a youth sign-making party at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at the UHMC Student Lounge in the Pilina Building (second floor).

“The Global Climate Strike is about everyone, young and old, taking the lead of the young climate strikers who have been striking with #FridaysForFuture,” said Rita Ryan, one of the event organizers with The Climate Reality Project and 350.org.

“We encourage the adults to strike at their workplaces in solidarity with the youth strikers and to transition from climate inaction to climate action. The 9/20 rally at UHMC campus will provide actionable opportunities for every individual to lower Maui’s carbon footprint and defeat the climate crisis.”

In addition to this event, a group of eighth grade Kihei Charter School students is encouraging other youth to join them in front of the County Building on Friday morning, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. as part of their weekly #FridaysforFuture youth strike events.

“FridaysForFuture is a global movement,” said Siena Schwartz, an eighth grade student from Kihei Charter School.

“We want to do our part in our local environment to raise awareness about the climate crisis. We need to come together as a community and defeat climate change. We need to take action and rise up before our sea levels do!”

With International Coastal Cleanup Day happening on Sept. 21, youth from Maui Huliau Foundation’s leadership program are basing their annual beach cleanup in front of the Hawaiian Canoe Club in collaboration with the Climate Strike events.

The beach cleanup, which begins at 9 a.m., will end at 11 a.m. with a group Climate Strike photo before meeting up with Malama Maui Nui’s cleanup crew on the other side of the harbor.

They will encourage their cleanup volunteers, especially youth participants, to bring signs highlighting the impacts of climate change on our ocean.

For additional information, visit the Maui Climate Strike Facebook Event Page.