The Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School joined other Island schools participating in the worldwide student climate strike by organizing a walkout.
At 10 am, students poured out of the school and walked to the edge of State Road.
Students cheered as cars honked in support. Many of their signs had slogans that demanded action on climate change with slogans like “Denial is not a policy,” “Why go to school if we have no future,” and “There is no planet B.”
The climate strike was started by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. Students on the Island and around the world have been walking out of school on Fridays to bring attention to climate change.
Friday Warren Cabana, 10, was one of the Charter School students who felt the U.N. is not doing enough to address climate change around the world. “We should lower carbon dioxide emissions,” Cabana said. “I think we have to make change, and make [the U.N.] notice it.”
Several teachers joined their students in support, with signs reading, “I’m with them.”
“The kids have been really excited to do this for a while. They’ve put a lot of hard work into this protest, and it feels really good to see it all come together,” Karin Nelson, a third and fourth grade teacher at the school, said.
Several cars honked in support as they drove by while students chanted, “School strike for climate change” and “Why have school if we have no future?”
Sixth grader Runar Finn Robinson, 12, led the charge at the Charter School. Runar and his younger brother, Odin, 9, are no strangers to activism. In December the Robinson brothers traveled to Washington, D.C., with their parents to participate in the Sunrise Movement protest, and can be seen in front of the Tisbury Town Hall on most Fridays holding up signs demanding action on climate change.
Having done protests off-Island and at Tisbury town hall, Runar felt he should share his activism at school.
In a conversation with The Times on Thursday, Runar said the climate strike wants to see action on several fronts, but the first step is rejoining in the Paris Climate Agreement.
“When it comes down to it, it’s everyday choices like driving your cars less, trying to buy things that are locally produced, or composting your food waste,” Runar said. “We do need action on a national scale. So petition and pressure your politicians to act on that.”