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Voices / Letters from readers

Why I will be at the Climate Strike with my children

As you may know, there is a Global Strike for Climate happening on Friday, Sept. 20, inspired by the climate activist Greta Thunberg. In the words of the Global Climate Strike organizers:

On Sept. 20, just ahead of the United Nations Global Climate Action Summit in New York City, we will be walking out of our schools, our workplaces, and our homes to show our leaders that we will accept nothing less than an immediate transition to clean energy, green jobs, and a just and healthy planet. United with people at hundreds of climate strikes around the world, we will demand action!

Though there are many events planned in Brattleboro during that week, the crescendo will be a rally/gathering at Pliny Park that Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

I will be there with my children because:

1. I believe it is essential to show our youth that as adults living in a time of a rapidly accelerating climate crisis, we are willing to break with our schedules, speak up, act, make our voices heard, and fight for a livable planet for our children’s generation, future generations, and the species with whom we share this planet.

2. I want to demonstrate to our children how change happens. Change doesn’t happen with individuals swapping out plastic straws for paper straws. Change happens when we stop thinking and acting as individuals and instead think and act collectively. I want my children and the youth of this area to know what it feels like — moving, empowering, emboldening, connecting — when one stands with many others in collaborative acts of solidarity, hope, protest, and visionary reimagining.

3. I want my children and the youth of this Earth to know — no matter what happens — that many of us tried to stop the tides of devastation bred by greed and capitalism.

4. I want to be there on the 20th because many children died in the Bahamas this past week during Hurricane Dorian, and many more children will die from climate destruction in the year and years to come.

I want to strike in solidarity with the children of the Bahamas who will not be returning to school this month because their schools have been destroyed; I want to strike in solidarity with the many children of Central America who can no longer live where they were born because of climate-change induced drought; I want to strike in solidarity with the many children around the globe whose homelands are threatened by rising waters.

Won’t you join us? You can read more about the Vermont Climate Strikes at

I hope this gathering is the first of many more big and beautiful collective actions. Let’s make it so.

Robin MacArthur

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Originally published in The Commons issue #527 (Wednesday, September 11, 2019). This story appeared on page D3.

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