Children, their families, and thousands of others took to the streets of Vancouver to plead for action on the climate crisis.
“Everybody is bringing their voices together to create one big movement and it’s just really incredible,” said Vancouver teen Ella Ricketts.
“I’m just anxious to actually get change or else half of all land we know will be underwater,” said teen Luke Mackie.
Many say they were inspired to join the movement because of teen activist Greta Thunberg who joined the climate rally Friday.
“She was the one that made the spark that created the fire you know?” said Ricketts.
“She’s really making a change in this world and I think that’s what heroes are for, to change the world for the better,” said 15-year-old Meena Ganeshan.
Police estimate 10,000 people gathered in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery to hear her speak.
“We are not just some kids skipping school or some adults not going to work, we are a wave of change and together we are unstoppable,” Thunberg told the crowd.
Groups of people from Vancouver Island made the trip to be part of the protest, including teen climate strike protester Emma-Jane Burian.
“We’re really excited to keep going and it’s going to be awesome,” she said. “We were watching the aerial views and it’s insane there’s so many people here it’s so exciting,” she said.
B.C. Green Party MLA Sonia Furstenau brought her kids.
“I’m here, I’m a politician, I’m listening, I want other politicians to be listening and to recognize this is the most important challenge we have to face,” Furstenau said.
Seventeen-year-old Sierra Robinson from Westholme, in the Cowichan Valley was also there on stage. She is one of 15 youth from across Canada suing the federal government over climate change.
“Because my health and the health of Canadians, across Canada, have been impacted by climate change, whether that be through wildfire smoke hurting our lungs or from, like myself, Lyme disease that’s been spreading across Canada from blacklegged ticks,” Robinson told the crowd.
The goal of those at the protest is a post-election push for Canadian leaders to take action.
“If you feel threatened by that then I have some very bad news for you. This is just the beginning, we will continue,” Thunberg rallied.
The protest caused major traffic backups in downtown Vancouver.