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Bloomington climate change activists organize strike Friday at City Hall


Students at the front of the Bloomington Climate Strike rally chant Sept. 20 while walking past the Indiana Memorial Union. Bloomington citizens will walk out of schools and places of work as part of a global climate strike rally Friday at City Hall. Matt Begala

Bloomington citizens will walk out of schools and places of work as part of a global climate strike Friday at City Hall. 

The strike will involve a walk out starting at 1 p.m. before a 2 p.m. festival and a 3:30 p.m. rally at City Hall. The schedule is flexible and possibly subject to change, according to strike organizers.

The Bloomington strike was organized by the Bloomington hub of Sunrise Movement, a youth-led national social movement dedicated to raising climate change awareness; Extinction Rebellion Bloomington, a local chapter of the international climate change organization; and Golden Bicycle, a local climate change activist group.

The festival will include video chats with climate change activists from around the world and musical performances. Attendees can write a letter to Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton and receive contact information and scripts for contacting government officials about the issue. 

The rally will include a presentation of Bloomington’s history with climate change and a to-be-determined lineup of local speakers, which will most likely be high school and college students, Golden Bicycle member Nick Bergen said.

Following the rally, some organizers will deliver a presentation to Bloomington city officials, urging the city to declare a climate emergency, according to a press release. 

A similar presentation was given to Mayor Hamilton during the September climate strike. Although the presentation was positively received, Bergen said Bloomington has failed to take substantial action since that time.Mayor Hamilton has not yet confirmed if he will attend the strike.

Bergen said although this city-wide initiative won’t necessarily fix the whole problem, it is a good place to start.

“That is the level where we can affect the most change immediately,” Bergen said. “We are kind of hoping if Bloomington becomes a leader on climate issues that that will spread to other cities in the U.S.”

The United Nations released a statement in 2018 saying people have 12 years left to change sustainability practices and prevent irreversible damage from climate change. Since then, governments have not done enough to help prevent future harm to the planet, said Eliza Dowd, Bloomington hub coordinator for Sunrise Movement.

The Bloomington strike is a reaction to the government’s inability to change its greenhouse gas emissions enough, Dowd said.

“We need to have more walk-the-walk with the talk-the-talk,” Dowd said.

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