Washtenaw students plan climate strike Friday

    March for Science protestors
    Creative Commons

    Washtenaw County students are planning to walk out of school Friday morning in protest of human factors contributing to rising global temperatures.

    Supporters of a student-led environmental strike hung a banner advertising the action from a University of Michigan power plant in Ann Arbor, MLive reports. Anonymous supporters hung the banner on one of U of M’s Central Power Plant smokestacks.

    University of Michigan | Wikimedia Commons

    High school students Zaynab Elkolaly and Khadija Khokhar are leading the  Washtenaw County strike in protest of the “ecological and humanitarian crisis” that is climate change, according to a document listing the group’s demands.

    They are calling on student supporters to walk out of class at 11:11 a.m. and head to a rally where speakers include Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate Abdul El-Sayed, County Commissioner Michelle Deatrick and state Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor).

    It’s Washtenaw County’s answer to planned student protests nationwide.

    “We recognize that climate change is an ecological and humanitarian crisis on a massive scale that disproportionately causes the most harm to those who have done the least to cause it, namely low income and working class communities, communities of color, indigenous people, women and LGBTQ individuals, and non-humans,” the action’s demand list said.

    Abdul El-Sayed

    “Global scientific consensus tells us we have only 11 years remaining to curb the worst impacts of climate change and combat the causal systems of oppression that channel its effects to our most at-risk communities,” they continued.

    Demands include re-entry into the Paris Agreement and a local end to “all extraction and burning of fossil fuels,” according to the group’s demand list.

    A full list of their demands can be viewed here.

    Michael Gerstein
    Michael Gerstein covers the governor’s office, criminal justice and the environment. Before that, he wrote about state government and politics for the Detroit News, the Associated Press and MIRS News and won a Society of Professional Journalism award for open government reporting. He studied philosophy at Michigan State University, where he wrote for both The State News and Capital News Service. He began his journalism career freelancing for The Sturgis Journal, his hometown paper.


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