Tapatío students joined 105 nations in calling for more intense efforts to combat climate change in a protest held Saturday, March 16.
Mobilized by the initiative of 17-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, around 200 demonstrators of all ages gathered outside the Jalisco Congress in downtown Guadalajara to urge local lawmakers to give the issue their immediate attention.
Although the protestors’ action came a day later, they followed in the track of thousands of students from 112 countries who skipped school on Friday, March 15 to speak out. From Uganda, Thailand and France to Australia, pupils demanded that their respective governments acknowledge climate change as an impending danger.
“We fulfilled our mission,” said Guadalajara student organizer Alejandro Purón, who was one of many inspired by Thunberg’s “Friday for Future” movement. The Swedish student was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize based on her advocacy.
Organized under the hashtag “#HuelgaClimática” (Climate Strike), students came from Guadalajara high schools and middle schools, as well as universities, including ITESO, UdG, Lamar, Univer, Univa, Tec Milenio and Tec de Monterrey, to demand congressional action.
“The (local) laws are obsolete,” said one participant. “They aren’t getting updated, there isn’t any coordination among political organizations focusing on this issue, nor are there any measurements or follow-ups being carried out. And there isn’t any serious research or numbers that tell us if we are doing alright.”
Local activists drafted a petition to establish political committees and student networks to address imminent catastrophes that could occur if initiatives aren’t created soon. Other proposals included less vehicle usage, a review of eating habits, studies into the effects of heavy meat consumption and more recycling.
According to sources, the state legislature has received the appeal and intends to examine it during its next session.
The student protest movement seems unlikely to fade away. Says Thunberg: “You have ignored us in the past and you will ignore us again. We have run out of excuses and we are running out of time. We have come here to let you know that change is coming, whether you like it or not.”