At 11 am on September 20, Gettysburg College was just one of many, many schools that allowed students to walk out and protest for the future of our planet. Dozens of students, faculty, and staff members gathered outside of the historic Pennsylvania Hall to listen to speakers and voice their own opinions.
This protest was sponsored by the Peace and Justice Council, the Interfaith Council, G.E.C.O, and GreenGettysburg. Professor Hakim Williams and campus chaplain Kristin Largen were two of only three adults that spoke at the event. The rest of the speakers, both planned and unplanned, were students.
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Just as Professor Williams stated, the college stepped back and let the youth come forward to state their concerns, their hopes, and their anger. Most of this anger was directed at public officials who either ignore climate change, or do nothing about it. Over and over again the words “go vote!” were told to the crowd.
As student, James Mullen, stated in his opening remarks, the students at Gettysburg College have the amazing opportunity to gather and protest peacefully on campus. Not every student had this opportunity to stand for what they believe in without consequence.
Every person that has the opportunity to, should stand up and be a voice for those that cannot. Climate change impacts the poorest people of the world first; destroying their food, their homes, and their lifestyles. This isn’t an opinion, it is a statement of fact. These people don’t always have a voice. They don’t always have a vote in who does. That’s why protests are so important.
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Despite nothing legally being accomplished today, many voices all around the world were heard. Our unity is our greatest asset. By gathering together, protesting together, and speaking together, we stand a much bigger chance of making a difference.
So thank you, Gettysburg, for letting us gather today.