Harrisonburg Students Join Climate Strike

Sep 20, 2019

Hundreds of local students and citizens gathered at Harrisonburg's Court Square Friday for a Climate Strike.
Credit Calvin Pynn

As climate strikes are taking place across the globe today, protesters turned out in Harrisonburg to join the movement. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

[Sound of crowd chanting, music]

[Crowd singing] I believe in being ready…

Around 200 people in Harrisonburg joined millions worldwide participating in the Climate Strike on Friday. Workers walked away from their jobs and students walked out of class to Court Square, all to send the same message to lawmakers – start addressing climate change now.

LUCIANO BENJAMIN: Let us be remembered as the greatest generation – not for the wars that we fought against one another, but for the war that we fought together to save the world.

That’s speaker Luciano Benjamin, who issued a rallying call to deal with climate change locally. That includes a “50 by ’25” plan, which demands that both JMU and the City of Harrisonburg incorporate 50-percent renewable energy by the year 2025. JMU Architectural Studies junior Deanna Botkin came to the strike with her classmates, who hope to use their careers to combat the climate crisis.

Credit Calvin Pynn

DEANNA BOTKIN: What we’re learning in architecture is how to focus on, like, how do we change our existing buildings for the better, for the future.

Another climate strike at Court Square is planned for next Friday, which Benjamin said will continue until their demands are met.

[Crowd singing “We Shall Overcome”]