The roar of the enormous crowd made it difficult to hear the message from climate change seekers, but following the rally at city hall plaza today, Anna Siegel, the 13 year old youth leader of the movement in the area, said that the goal is to get both Portland and South Portland officials to adopt the Climate Emergency Resolution. “We hope this Resolution will be on their agendas by November 1st.” she said. “We will be monitoring this.” Mayor Strimling accepted the challenge and said he would act on it.
This rally was inspired by the climate change leadership of Swedish Greta Thunberg, 16, who said today in New York: “This is an emergency. Our house is on fire. Why study for a future that is being taken away from us? Similiar youth rallies were held around the world – in 150 countries.
Professor Beverly Johnson, a professor of geology at Bates College said: “It’s exciting and hopeful to see so much of our youth engaged in this serious problem. It’s important to enact policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to preserve and restore coastal ecosystems.” Johnson has been a professor at Bates for the past twenty (20) years and she has always integrated environmental issues in her courses. (See way below right photo of Professor Johnson).
About fifty students from Bates College attended the Portland rally. There were college students from nearby Colby and Bowdoin in attendance as well.
After the rally many of them paraded down Exchange Street holding up their signs for tourists and others to enjoy. It was a warm and sunny day and many were out and about.
Approximately 4 million people participated in the world wide event – probably making it the most well-attended environmental rally ever.
Organizers said there were about 2,500 people at the rally at Portland’s city hall plaza today. Actually that figure depends on who you spoke to. A Portland Police Officer told mhn.com 500; a city official said 1,000 and a national organizer for the event said 2,500.
Please see post herein dated February 8, 2019 for more background information on the first youth climate change rally at city hall plaza. Anna Siegel was one of the organizers of that event as well.