Students Gather In Hartford To Demand Climate Action | Connecticut Public Radio
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Students Gather In Hartford To Demand Climate Action

Mar 16, 2019

About 200 young people and their supporters gathered at the capitol in Hartford on Friday to demand action on climate change.

Teia Tuccillo, 13, took the day off from school in Canton to protest against climate change.

"Global warming will affect a lot of people it should be something we're worrying about," she said. 

She was carrying a sign that said: "Not a prediction, a reality." At the top of the poster there was a hand-drawn polar bear, walking along crumbling ice.

Her mom, Susanna, considered the day an important field trip.

"I really want her to know that people around the world, they're really going to feel the brunt of this and I just want her to recognize that," she said.

Young people and their supporters gather in Hartford to protest climate change and ask for the Green New Deal.
Credit David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

Students from across the state and region left school early to take part in the protest. It's part of a nationwide effort organized by U.S. Youth Climate Strikes.

They're asking the federal government to declare a climate emergency and end fossil fuel use. They also want to see lawmakers approve what's being called a Green New Deal.

"Some of the Green New Deal's main goals are to create net-zero greenhouse gas emissions," said high schooler Sena Wazer. "Create millions of good, high- wage jobs, secure the US for future generations, and promote justice and equity by stopping historic oppression."

Nine people took the podium to rally the crowd. But within the crowd is where the creativity came alive.

One sign said, "I'm with her," with a drawing of the earth. Another read, "The climate is changing, why aren't we?" A boy from Simsbury carried one that said: "The sea levels are rising. So are we."

Theodore Kulynych, of Simsbury, joins his peers to protest climate change.Credit David DesRochesEdit | Remove

"Our lawmakers are not doing enough to help us, so we're taking a stand," said Kira Ortoleva, a high school senior from Milford. She helped organize the protest, and was the last to speak. She finished by quoting Charlie Chaplin's character from the 1940 film, "The Great Dictator."

"Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men -- machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines, you're not cattle. You're people. You the people have the power to make this life free and beautiful. to Make this life a wonderful adventure. Let us use that power and let us fight," she said.