Climate protest marks first action by Sunrise Movement on campus

Grace Springer, the action lead for the Sunrise club, leads the protestors and chants at the front into a microphone during the climate march on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021.

Alton Northup Reporter

Just over 20 people turned out Wednesday evening to march on Kent State’s campus in support of climate change awareness and environmental policies.

The march, which was organized by Sunrise Movement Kent State, began at 6 p.m. at the DI Hub and ended at Risman Plaza. 

“With the event today, we wanted to show solidarity with all of the protesters around the world that are out on the streets working for climate justice because of the conference in Glasgow,” said Grace Springer, Sunrise Kent State action lead, “So what we’re trying to do today here is just bring that message to Kent State.”

The march takes place in the background of the COP26 conference currently happening in Glasgow, Scotland. The conference, which is hosted by the United Nations, brings world leaders and diplomats together to address climate policy. 

Participants marched past dorms and dining halls chanting and carrying signs, which displayed the age they will be in the year 2046. 

“The significance of the age signs is it’s a symbolic way to represent [that] we need to start making progress on climate change now,” Springer said. “Because 2046 is the year that we will reach two degrees Celsius of warming, which means irreversible climate damage.” 

Those in attendance expressed concern over what they say is a limited window left to save the environment. 

“The fact of the matter is that we don’t have the time for tiny climate action,” Haydn Palmer, an environmental studies major and member of Students for a Democratic Society, said. 

Marchers expressed frustration with governments and companies failing to take what they see as adequate measures against climate change. 

“We can’t have any other justice if we don’t have climate justice,” Camryn Kwiatkoski, a second year political science major, said. 

Sunrise Movement Kent State, one of over 400 chapters of the national non-profit Sunrise Movement which was launched in 2017, said this is only the first of several events it plans. The organization advocates for political action on climate change.

Alton is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].