Thousands of young activists will gather in cities around the world Friday to call for immediate action on climate change, and Philly students are planning to join the cause. But unlike cities like New York City, where public school systems have said they will excuse absenses for climate strikers, Philadelphia’s schools plan to mark protesters absent.
Philadelphia will be one of 500 locations across the nation participating in the Climate Strike, though over 2,500 strikes will be happening around the world.
The Climate Strike comes days before the UN Climate Summit in New York City, which is set for Monday. Over 1,100 people have signed up to participate in Friday’s Philly Climate Strike.
But students should know that if they miss class for the strike, they will not be excused. Megan Lello, a spokesperson for the Philly school district, told Whyy.org that, “We will mark students absent if they are not in class.”
Additionally, school officials are encouraging students to work with administrators and hold events on campus.
Organizers are not happy with the schools’ decision to mark kids absent.
As part of the strike, the Youth Climate Coalition is demanding a Green New Deal, respect of indigenous land and sovereignty, environmental justice, protection and restoration of biodiversity and finally, implementation of sustainable agriculture.
Additionally, each local Climate Strike is making its own demands for their city. Philly Strikers want officials to implement a municipal Green New Deal which they want to include: 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, no new fossil fuel projects, and a transition to a renewable economy.
According to actionnetwork.com, the Philly Climate Strike programming will start with a rally on the north side of Philadelphia City Hall at 11 a.m., with the march beginning at 12:30 p.m.. The march will be a loop for about ten blocks through Center City. Protesters will be marching down 15th street to Locust and back up to Broad Street, ending the march where it began, at City Hall.
Starting at 1:30 p.m., there will be a closing rally. Speakers will include a variety of activists and climate justice organizers as well as leaders from groups fighting for environmental justice. There will also be special musical performances.