On Saturday afternoon, more than 80 Islanders gathered at Five Corners to stand in support of the Climate March, a large public demonstration taking place in Washington, D.C., on the heels of the March for Science last weekend.
The Vineyard sister march was organized by the climate and environment steering committee for We Stand Together/Estamos Todos Juntos MV, and sought to spread awareness about climate change and send a strong message to the White House.
Many signs were pleas to decrease the use of fossil fuels, protect endangered animal species, and address rising sea levels. A few participants wore life vests and snorkeling gear to drive the point home.
One large sign, carried by Joyce Maxner, Josie Powers, and Talulah Powers, read, “Mr. Trump, please love the earth.” Another asked, “How long are we, the government, and the world going to deny reality?” A third simply said, “Climate change is real.”
There were plenty of young faces mixed in the crowd, including many high school students who were supposed to go to D.C. The group’s bus was in an accident before picking them up, and left the Vineyarders unable to get to the rally in the nation’s capital.
The homebound high schoolers were happy to show their support at Five Corners, however, and said that more could be done to educate people about the magnitude of climate change’s impact on humanity.
“We are a part of the earth, and we’re throwing a wrench into the system,” Lucy Thompson said. “We’re not doing enough to protect it.”
“People think this is an earthy, hippie issue, but it affects all of us,” said Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School student Keith Chatinover.
Nicola Blake, an organizer for We Stand Together on environmental issues, said they were thinking of doing the rally at another location. However, the recent flooding at Five Corners made it an “appropriate” choice, according to Ms. Blake.
Graysen Kirk and Ella Keohane, students at the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School, came out to show their support because they felt the issue of climate change is important to their generation. After learning about it in school, the pair said, they have taken to educating their friends.
“I like to teach friends who don’t know about it. They are usually surprised to learn what I have to tell them,” Ella said.
“It’s something bigger than us that affects us,” Graysen said. “There are a lot of kids our age who care, but we could all be more aware of the issues.”