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September 23, 2019
Thousands of students from across the D.C. area gathered at the Capitol for the youth-led global climate strike Sept. 20. Protesters striking in front of the Capitol Building heard various speakers, including Rep. Jim McGovern and 16-year-old Tokata Iron Eyes from the Standing Rock Nation in North Dakota, demand political action against climate change.
Indigenous speakers raise their fists on the Capitol. These activists made note of how the climate crisis will disproportionately affect indigenous communities and marginalized people. Photo courtesy Luke Westgate
Globally, an estimated 4 million people participated in Friday’s strike. Whitman juniors Nina Fromm Quinonez, Alissa Weisman, Raina Hatcher, and sophomore Karla Stephan all helped organize and lead the D.C. strike.
Stephan, the national finance director of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike, said her involvement in the youth environmental movement began after realizing politicians weren’t taking action.
“I was just really fed up with the way our representatives were handling this emergency,” Stephan said.
Clockwise from the top, an activist dressed in all green holds up her end of a large banner on the walk to the Capitol Building; A reporter approaches a young woman from the wearing a shirt that reads “Green New Deal” from the youth-led Sunrise Movement; climate strikers reach the Capitol Building, accompanied by police on the walk from John Marshall Park to the Capitol Building; indigenous Hopi women raise their fists at the end of their speech highlighting the effects climate change is already having on indigenous communities. All photos courtesy Luke Westgate.
Hatcher, the art coordinator for the D.C. strike made protest signs for students. One poster depicts Exxon Mobil CEO Darren Woods with devil horns and crossed out eyes. Hatcher got involved because she wanted to use her art to make a statement, she said.
“The planet is running out of time,” Hatcher said. “This is our call to action.”
Students hold up a wearable sign depicting Exxon Mobil CEO Darren Woods as a “climate villain.” The piece was created by the strike’s art director and Whitman junior Raina Hatcher. Photo by Chloe Lesser.