Today has been a hectic day, to say the least. It’s only around 9pm, and I’ve already had about three outfit changes. Not only was today MIT’s Fall Career Fair, but also the day of the Global Climate Strike. All around the world, students, parents, every day workers, and more gathered around to call for climate justice. At MIT, and other schools in the area, students gathered to strike. In Boston, people gathered at City Hall Plaza, and then marched to the State House to continue protesting and rallying. I managed to squeeze some time in to go into Boston in between picking formal wear to impress potential recruiters.
Unfortunately, I missed the community events in the morning, where people made signs and other art at City Hall Plaza, but I made it for the main rally. There were some amazing speakers at the event (which could get hard to hear with all of the noise of the crowd), including Gina McCarthy, former Secretary of the EPA under the Obama administration. There was a real buzzing of enthusiasm throughout.
It certainly felt strange going to the Career Fair after. Surrounded by booths and booths of companies and corporations felt like a total 180. The interviews, the formalities, the waiting in line to talk to a representative for just ten minutes, all just felt so incredibly unimportant compared to what was really on my mind all day.
It’s hard to describe in words the feeling of being surrounded by so many other people trying to fight for the same thing. There were a lot of young people around too, college students with quirky signs, teenagers in braces, and children with their parents, which made me hopeful for the future, but also sad. I feel like I had already begun mourning for the future that is not what they – what I – hoped for. I had felt the despair sinking in for months now, gradually taking hold. But, even if for just the hour or so I was there, I began to feel hopeful. For one of the first times in my life, I stopped in the moment and thought about a future where children would hear about these strikes from their parents, and think, “Wow, I can’t believe they almost let that happen.” Even after I left, I heard from my roommates who stayed that the Boston State House was filled with protestors who demanded that their representatives do more to stop this.
Honestly, if the future is going to be run by the smart, passionate youths I saw today, it’s hard not to be hopeful. At the rally, one of the speakers had said that the people had the power to enact change. A lot of the time, it doesn’t feel like that. When you’re one person fighting against many, it becomes so easy to feel hopeless and give up. But today was a lesson in something else, not just to us, but to everyone trying to keep us down. We aren’t just one person fighting against many. And we are not powerless in this fight against climate change. Here are just a few shots showing you how truly massive this movement is, and just how clever people can get: