Protestors call for climate action with Black Friday strike

Fridays for Future Toronto chapter organizes march ahead of United Nations Climate Change Conference

Protestors call for climate action with Black Friday strike

On Black Friday, Canada’s biggest shopping day of the year, hundreds of climate protestors took to the streets as a part of the Fridays for Future movement for action in response to the climate crisis, gathering in front of Queen’s Park for a rally before marching to City Hall. The strike also comes a few days before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25). Leaders will meet on December 2 in Spain to submit climate action plans ahead of the 2020 deadline, in accordance with the 2015 Paris Agreement.

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“We are striking today, on Black Friday, because we want to call out the system that forces us to live unsustainable lives. Because many of us don’t have the time, the money, or the option to live another way,” said Fridays for Future Toronto Chapter Head Allie Rougeot to the crowd. In her speech, she affirmed Fridays for Future’s commitment to Indigenous sovereignty and called on political leaders to take drastic climate action at the COP25 conference.

“We are demanding that in Spain, they do their jobs of protecting us and working for us.”

One theme of the strike was criticizing the Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) investment in fossil fuels, with marchers placing “Divest RBC” stickers on the storefront of the bank as they passed by it. Volunteers stood in front of the bank holding a banner that read, “Canada’s #1 Fossil Bank. Divest Now!”

In an interview with The Varsity, Rougeot reflected on the Black Friday strike, held over two months after the Global Climate Strike in Toronto, which saw the participation of around 15,000 people. “The turnout is definitely smaller [this time], but we expected a smaller turnout. What I really like is how much mightier it is.”

She described the central tenets of the strike and Fridays for Future as “a just transition for workers, Indigenous rights, and marginalized communities being included and us fighting for them.”

Rougeot, a U of T student, criticized the university’s “horrific” investment in fossil fuels. “As much as I want to be proud of my school, I will never be proud of my school until they divest.”

DINA DONG/THE VARSITY

Similar to the Global Climate Strikes that took place in September, young people were particularly represented in this strike, with groups of middle- and high-school students striking together. Dunbarton High School student Devin Mathura commented on his presence at the strike with a large group of classmates: “We have to enforce the fight for climate change and [the fight] to declare a climate emergency by not going to school because why should we get an education when there’s not going to be a future for us?”

DINA DONG/THE VARSITY

Seventeen-year-old climate activist Abonti Nur Ahmed spoke at the rally, criticizing the elitism of the climate movement. “I don’t remember the last time someone asked me how it was affecting my community and how it’s affecting the people that I know,” Ahmed said to the crowd.

In an interview with The Varsity, Ahmed said that the community she was representing was a politically disenfranchised one: “They don’t know how to fight for their own rights.” Her speech advocated for intersectionality in the climate movement, which she defines as not putting the blame on individuals, but rather understanding that systemic change needs to come before placing any burdens on already marginalized communities.

She hopes to inspire people to learn about intersectionality for themselves. “When I was speaking, the only thing that was in the back of my mind [was]: ‘I hope that people hear what I say and decide to go look up what intersectional climate change means,’ because I can say everything I want, but it has to start with the person’s passion.”

U of T scientists sign open letter declaring climate emergency

Letter outlines where action can be taken, while four researchers share perspectives with The Varsity

U of T scientists sign open letter declaring climate emergency

Over 11,000 scientists from 153 countries signed a letter entitled “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency,” which was published in the BioScience journal in November. Twenty-one of the signatories are faculty or graduate students at the University of Toronto.

The authors believe that public discourse on the climate crisis has been narrowly focused on global average surface temperature. They argue that this scope fails to fully capture how humans affect the planet, and communicate the dangers of the climate crisis.

Communicating the impact of the climate crisis

The authors note that a better solution for analysts would be to explore a wide range of indicators of the impact of human activity on the climate crisis.

They substantiated the letter with a series of graphs which illustrate the change of various indicators over the past 40 years, working with high-quality data collected by climate scientists.

Troubling trends that the graphs reveal include long-term increases in human and livestock populations, meat consumption, global loss of tree coverage, fossil fuel consumption, heightened airfare, and carbon dioxide emissions.

However, the authors note promising changes as well, such as decreases in global birth rates, the long-term slowdown of the rate of forest loss in the Amazon, rising infrastructure for solar and wind power, institutional fossil fuel divestment, and the prevalence of carbon pricing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Yet the authors warn that these changes may not last — for example, fertility rates have been stabilizing, the rate of deforestation in the Amazon has risen once more, and while consumption of solar and wind energy has increased 373 per cent per decade, it was still 28 times smaller than fossil fuel consumption in 2018.

Despite 40 years of climate negotiations, the authors believe that business has continued as usual, and that the world at large is still failing to recognize the urgency of the climate crisis. They warn that we have failed to meaningfully change the ways we live, and that we are dangerously close to losing the ability to secure a sustainable future.

Six key areas where action can be taken

The authors outlined six key areas where action must be taken: energy, short-lived pollutants, nature, food, the economy, and population. They emphasized that fossil fuels must be replaced with low-carbon renewables and other clean energy sources, and that the emissions of short-lived pollutants such as methane and soot must be reduced.

They also stressed the importance of restoring Earth’s ecosystems. “Marine and terrestrial plants, animals, and microorganisms play significant roles in carbon and nutrient cycling and storage,” the authors noted.

Restoring ecosystems alone could bring the world to a third of the Paris Agreement’s emissions reduction target by 2030.

The authors also advise the elimination of animal consumption, especially ruminant animals like cattle and sheep; the curtailing of excessive extraction of Earth’s resources; and equitable solutions to population growth, such as family planning and widened access to girls’ education.

This is only a selection of the many recommendations in the “World Scientists’ Warning” — their breadth reflects the magnitude of the climate crisis. Fittingly, scientists from a wide variety of fields are represented among the signatories.

To learn more about the scientists’ perspectives, The Varsity reached out to four of U of T’s 21 signatories from a diverse range of academic disciplines.

How the climate crisis impacts public health

Dr. David Jenkins is a professor at U of T’s Faculty of Medicine who is well-known for developing the glycemic index — a system which explains how carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels.

Jenkins believes that it is important to connect the climate crisis to all the factors that it impacts, with health being one of them.

He also discussed the spread of diseases that are usually found in warmer climates to parts of the world that used to be colder due to the climate crisis.

Jenkins therefore believes that changing the impact of humans on the climate is of the utmost urgency. “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — two years ago — only gave us 12 years to turn the crisis around,” he said. “The world, in general, needs a wake-up call.”

This warning builds on all the other climate warnings that the world has received, Jenkins noted. The first was issued in 1798 by Reverend Thomas Malthus.

As a nutritionist, Jenkins believes that one way in which humans can reduce their impact on the climate crisis is by adopting plant-based diets — something which can also be incredibly healthy if planned well. For example, tofu and seitan are relatively inexpensive and healthy food sources.

However, he stressed that with plant-based diets, careful planning is important in order to meet nutritional requirements.

The urgency of addressing the crisis

The Varsity also reached out to Dr. Miriam Diamond, a professor at the Department of Earth Sciences who is cross-appointed to the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, the School of the Environment, and the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry.

Diamond highlighted that the climate crisis “is not just an issue… It is a crisis and needs to be treated as such.”

Natural phenomena such as the fires in Australia, the severe flooding in the Ottawa Valley, and the dramatic fires in western Canada and Ontario over the past two years all have a climate component, according to Diamond.

Diamond also brought up the recent federal election, noting that the climate crisis was not as high of a priority as affordability. “Our society is delicately positioned to function in [the] stable climate that we’ve known for the past several hundred years,” she said.

“[We do] not have the resources to cope with… the current and growing number of disasters,” she continued. “What’s coming further down are questions of food availability.”

“If we think we are worried about [it] right now… it’s about to get a whole lot worse.”

On activism and the paper’s research

Dr. Steve Easterbrook, Director of the School of the Environment, and a professor at the Department of Computer Science, hopes the letter will give the media and the public an overview of the current knowledge that we have about climate change.

“One of the things that paper does very nicely is it shows how everything is interconnected,” he noted.

In his view, the letter is also in defence of student climate activists, who are often dismissed in the media for their youth. “Articles like this, I think, emphasize that the students conducting this process, understand the science. They’ve got it right.”

He also underscored the value of dialogue about how to effectively fight the climate crisis. His belief is that scientists in disciplines not typically viewed as relevant to climate — including his own area of computer science — should consider how they could apply their skills to this issue.

“If you take this notion that we’re in a climate emergency,” he said, “I think of it as an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ type of emergency.”

Easterbrook rejected the notion that individuals reducing their personal carbon footprints is the most effective way to curb changes in climate. Instead, he urged people to consider: “What can you do that other people can’t do?”

A perspective from the Department of Political Science

Dr. Richard Sandbrook, a professor emeritus of the Department of Political Science, presented a different perspective. “The problem is not that we don’t know what to do; it is rather that we don’t do it,” he wrote.

One of the letter’s recommendations is for wealthy nations to aid poorer ones in the transition to renewables, which Sandbrook strongly supports.

He also wrote that the global south, whose nations are mostly not major contributors to warming, must be supported, or else “these areas will become unlivable, [and] internal wars and state breakdown will occur, along with major population movements.”

Unfortunately, Sandbrook believes that the political consequences of the climate crisis are not widely grasped. That is especially true of Canada, as it is far from Africa and the Middle East — regions which will feel the impacts of the climate crisis most strongly, according to Sandbrook, and where most climate migrations will originate.

Notably, while the graphs accompanying the letter include indicators of human activities that cause changes in climate, indicators of how these will affect humans — such as migration — are missing.

To Sandbrook, organization is critical. “The radical actions needed to arrest global heating at below 2°C will only happen in time as a result of mass pressure from below,” he noted.

Opinion: Why I’m boycotting Black Friday for climate action

Protest mass consumerism, strike with Fridays for Future

Opinion: Why I’m boycotting Black Friday for climate action

Black Friday has become a popular holiday in Canada. In a 2018 McKinsey & Company survey, 81 per cent of surveyed Canadians planned to take part in Black Friday sales. However, while these sales may benefit some lower income Canadians, the trend toward consumerism also has negative implications for the environment.

Of course, the desire to take advantage of the deals is understandable. The Canadian Payroll Association’s 2018 survey found that 44 per cent of Canadians lived paycheck-to-paycheck at the time. However, the previously mentioned McKinsey survey also showed that Black Friday purchases tend to be spontaneous.

Furthermore, the mob mentality of mass-consumerism works to benefit companies, but to the detriment of individuals who may not have the budget for these spontaneous purchases.

In the past, clothing was made to last, and people repaired clothes once they wore out. Now, we keep items of clothing for half as long as we did 15 years ago. We rely on a system of fast fashion.

Fast fashion refers to the modern phenomenon of the rapid change in trends, resulting in cheaply made items. This clothing tends to be lower quality, and efficiency is placed above durability. The most common fabric used in the fashion industry is polyester, which makes up 51 per cent of the textiles used in clothing. Polyester is made from plastic — but why should we be concerned about plastic in our clothing?

In 2018, The Independent described the damage that polyester has on our environment through its creation of microfibres. Polyester breaks down into microplastic fibres, which do not biodegrade, and move through our sewage until they eventually reach the ocean. As sea creatures eat the microfibres, they eventually move through the food chain, and are eaten by humans.

Furthermore, in 2015, polyester production emitted a total of 1.5 trillion pounds of greenhouse gases. This is the equivalent of 185 coal-fired power plants’ annual emissions. Overall, the fashion industry makes up eight per cent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, and these numbers are rising.

These trends are only exuberated through sale events like Black Friday, and the ease of online shopping. The desire to purchase more products which we do not need is directly correlated with an increase in fast fashion as the societal norm. The 2017 Global Fashion Agenda estimates that the fashion industry’s carbon emissions will increase by more than 60 per cent by 2030.

Alternatives Journal found that the average Canadian throws away 32 kilograms of textiles pre year. This could be because of cheap quality of clothing, or it could be due to the nature of fast fashion, where trends come and go quickly. Either way, much of what enters our landfills ends up in the ocean, leading to the microplastic phenomenon.

Canada is a country which claims to care about the environment, but we are not on track to meet our Paris Agreement targets, and the government continues to enact little impactful change in the face of the climate crisis.

But there is still hope.

It is not too late to stop the climate crisis. It is up to students and youth to fight to save our future. We must continue to strive for change, even when it seems like our voices will not be heard. It is our future that we are fighting for, and we must show our representatives what we care about.

Fridays for Future, the organization which has led to millions of students to strike worldwide, is holding its next climate strike on November 29, at Queen’s Park on Black Friday. The Toronto branch, led by U of T student Allie Rougeut, posted about the strike on their Facebook page: “We invite all Canadians, regardless of how they cast their votes, to help us demand justice for our youth and for those who will suffer the most from the climate crisis by joining us that day.” 

“You are in the midst of a climate crisis. Only mass action can save us now.”

By boycotting Black Friday, and joining the Fridays for Future strike instead, you can help pressure the corporations that are damaging our environment and putting our futures at risk.

Millions of youth across the world are protesting to save the future of humanity. Your individual actions, whether by striking or by boycotting fast fashion, have an impact. It was, after all, just one young girl in Sweden who began the student-led movement which has brought a platform to millions of voices worldwide.

Emma Ellingwood is a second-year History student at UTSC.

Opinion: On the climate crisis, we need sustained action

Youth activism is taking the world by storm, but Toronto is a worrisome exception

Opinion: On the climate crisis, we need sustained action

Internationally, youth activists and youth movements are creating unprecedented change. In a survey of over 6,000 participants in the current Hong Kong protests, a Chinese University of Hong Kong survey reported that more than 57 per cent of participants were under the age of 30. Sixty-one per cent of Sudan’s population is under the age of 25, and many of them were on the streets earlier this year, demonstrating against the corrupt government of President Omar al-Bashir. In Chile, the protests against the rise in transit fares, which sparked the current movement, were started by high-school students.

Of course, the trials Hong Kong, Chile, and Sudan have faced are incomparable to the day-to-day lives of Torontonians. However, the radical action that each youth-led movement embraces in those protests sends a very clear message, especially as we face Canada’s role in the climate crisis: we can do more. If, against all odds, these movements have managed to change government policy, we certainly should be able to do so as well.

Consistency is key

This past September, the Global Climate Strikes in Canada were a wonderful expression of just how many people cared and wanted to see change. The protests amassed around 500,000 people in Montréal and 100,000 in Vancouver. Toronto, however, saw only 15,000 people march ­— a relatively disappointing number. Students here at the University of Toronto are also not doing enough. Aptly put by fellow student and  head of the Friday’s for Future Toronto chapter Allie Rougeot in a previous Varsity article, “This school doesn’t feel like it’s resisting at all.”

Rougeot initially believed in a moderate transition instead of a revolutionary solution to the climate crisis. But after taking into account the fact that the root causes of the crisis were profit-seeking companies denying the climate crisis and extractive colonialism, she could no longer continue to ask for or invest in minor, moderately applied bandage solution to a rapidly-growing wound.

While the protests generated great energy across the country, we have not since seen the tangible, radical change that is necessary to address the crisis. When the same numbers are needed in subsequent efforts, when the cameras are gone, we simply aren’t there. Looking back now, it’s become an expression of just how, in Toronto, we aren’t as committed as we claim to be.

When Greta Thunberg began her movement in 2018, she protested in front of the Swedish parliament in order to demand Sweden meet their emissions reduction target. Now, she strikes every Friday, hence the name Fridays for Future. In Toronto, what we can take away from Thunberg and other youth-led protests is that consistent, sustained action is key.

Had they stopped their fight when the cameras were no longer on — when all there was to post on social media were dumpster fires and tear gas — nothing would’ve changed. They only have the power they do because they were persistent in their passion. They knew that if they did not protest, no one else would.

The clock is ticking

It is vital that we do the same here when it comes to our own political action.

Political dissent isn’t ineffective, but the limited scope of action that we’ve been seeing at the University of Toronto and in Canada as a whole, is. Considering that the future of the planet is at stake, we simply cannot allow this to continue.

Especially now, as we stare down the barrel of the climate crisis, we must act. Just recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that the “climate crisis [is] reducing land’s ability to sustain humanity.” The document should be read as a terrifying plea for life.

That is exactly what the climate crisis is. People have died and will continue to do so, populations have been displaced, and here in Canada, we are warming at a rate twice as high as any other country in the world.

There are droves of solutions, most including widespread, aggressive divestment in fossil fuels. We cannot continue to build pipelines and invest in the tar sands. The list goes on and on, yet students with the power to demand change are simply not showing up. We are not consistently and aggressively holding our government and corporations responsible for their lack of action.

When we do act, when we show the power we have, change is made without fail. The government has to listen when we speak. It might be cliché to reiterate, but the power is truly in the hands of the people and especially in the hands of the students.

The government is not doing nearly enough. And yet, apathy on campus and in the country could convince anyone that they are. We seem to be waiting for someone to tell us when the next march is and whom to follow.

But the longer we wait and the more time we spend agonizing over the fact that our leaders aren’t listening is time we could spend making them listen. Those in power with the tools to create the change we need are ready to say how high — we need to stop waiting for somebody else to say “jump.”

Nadine Waiganjo is a second-year International Relations student at University College. Waiganjo is a columnist for The Varsity’s comment section.

We need to continue to talk about the climate crisis

A month after Greta Thunberg’s UN speech, we are still marching

We need to continue to talk about the climate crisis

On September 27, thousands gathered in Queen’s Park to take part in the Global Climate Strike to demand action on the climate crisis. The Fridays For Future movement, which originated from 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg’s protest outside Sweden’s parliament, has now spread worldwide. Since the march in Toronto, Thunberg is still touring, having supported marches in Denver, Edmonton, and Vancouver in the past weeks.

Many of the protestors on the marches were teenagers who brought their youthful energy with them. The swathes of people marching were impressive, and many older people seemed encouraged by the youth turnout.

Yet when I attended the climate march in Toronto, I could not shake a feeling of disenchantment. In between the chants and speeches, the question of, “so what now?” lingered in my mind.

A protest is meant to invigorate and inspire, but it is not the be all, end all of a political movement. It can be a start, but much more tangible action is needed for these marches to have any significant meaning beyond performative action.

On September 23, Greta Thunberg made an impassioned speech at the United Nations, which has now gone viral. With tears in her eyes, she criticized world leaders, condemning their excuses, inaction, and “fairytales of economic growth.” Those very leaders whose actions she was condemning applauded and cheered throughout her speech with stunning obliviousness.

Thunberg met with Justin Trudeau four days later at the Montréal climate strike, and told him that he and other world leaders were not doing enough for the environment. Later that afternoon, Trudeau marched alongside the crowd of activists in Montréal, though the activists and marchers were protesting his government’s inaction on the crisis.

What was our prime minister protesting? His conscience?

After being re-elected, Trudeau reiterated his support for the Trans Mountain Pipeline, claiming that it falls in line with the Liberal party’s climate plan, and that the significant economic benefits will offset the environmental impacts and risks. Further, during his campaign he announced his party’s plan to plant two billion trees in Canada.

Unfortunately for Trudeau, building pipelines and planting trees will not save the climate. Drastic structural action is needed, one which has no place for pipelines. Apparently, Thunberg’s warnings of liberal economic fairytales did not reach the prime minister. There will be no economy for the government to worry about if we are all dead.

The marches were primarily made up of young people; inevitably, this meant that everyone was using social media. Signs referenced memes, people were taking snaps, and I was even asked to take a few Instagram pictures.

Admittedly, the performativity of social media can call into question people’s dedication to climate activism: protesting is cool, and environmentalism is sexy. Posting on social media does not indicate a challenge to the status quo, but instead, it presents an opportunity to gain online clout and receive a surge of serotonin from the flood of likes.

However, a protest can’t be completely discredited because people are posting about it on social media — so long as we don’t expect the Climate Strike to be the end of our climate activism in Canada.

Youth are always the future, and they turned out in droves — young people are animated and excited and want to see change. So long as that drive remains, stronger climate policy is coming.

Climate action requires radical policy changes and shifts in public life. Energy corporations like Canadian-based Suncor produce tens of billions of dollars of revenue a year, and by virtue of that they yield huge amounts of political power.

While individual choices to reduce consumption should be encouraged, changes are needed on a grander scale. It makes no sense to tell people to stop driving their cars to work when there is a lack of reliable public transportation. Public changes drive private choices.

Policies around the climate crisis are also inextricable from Indigenous land rights. While Greta Thunberg has found herself at the face of the movement, Indigenous activists have been saying the same thing for decades — that they were ignored, criminalized, and killed for their words and actions.

The climate marches are a good sign — there’s hope. But behind that hope there needs to be a powerful call to action through voting and civil disobedience, not just protests promoted by the institutions we criticize.

Why do we strike and what happens next?

A month after the Global Climate Strike, a U of T student reflects on the place and power of mass non-cooperation

Why do we strike and what happens next?

It was still dark when I arrived at Queen’s Park to set up for the Global Climate Strike, the sun rising from behind the tall shapes of the Financial District in the distance. At 6:00 am, the stage crew was just beginning to unload, but already a steady line of media vans had filled up the Queen’s Park side lot.

Hours before people from all corners of the GTA would stream onto the park lawns with their signs demanding climate justice for all, journalists and organizers like myself stood in the cold morning air, waiting to see the story of September 27 unfold before us.

To pull a term from the organizing theory of Mark and Paul Engler, the Global Climate Strike on September 27 represented “a moment of the whirlwind.” The whirlwind can be described as any instance of mass non-cooperation which draws participation from all corners and all walks of life, building an irresistible wave of momentum that everyday citizens are compelled to join.

Such whirlwinds are the driving force behind mass disruptions of institutional power. To name some well-known examples: the moment of the whirlwind was a key trigger for the collective breaking-down of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the explosion of the Arab Spring uprising in 2011, and, more recently, the flood of protests during the women’s marches in 2017.

Put into context alongside past whirlwind moments, it is easy to understand the considerable weight of a 50,000-strong Climate Strike in Toronto, even though the city does not have a notable history of mass protests.

Looking back at the strike nearly a month later, I remember my early-morning anticipation at Queen’s Park, and my initial uncertainty regarding whether we’d have even 10,000 people show up — it is crucial that we remember the strike as an extraordinary social moment for climate justice.

Criticism and interrogation have their own place looking back, but using critique as a tool to promote cynicism and disillusionment about the power of social movements is not helpful or useful.

Cynicism does not win social goods.

That kind of criticism does not win a liveable planet, Indigenous sovereignty, or status for all. The criticism that social movements need should focus on the movement’s ability to put Black, Indigenous, and other marginalized communities at the front, to interrogate and unsettle white power within movements, to confront and improve the movement’s inclusion, and improve access to ensure no community is left behind. This criticism is not just useful, it is necessary.

Let us look back at the strike and imagine how we can continue to improve our social movements, and not look back and suggest that the 50,000 bodies on the streets of Toronto were just an Instagram opportunity.

50,000 is a movement. 50,000 is a whirlwind.

The power of a social movement is measured through its ability to retain members of the public and install them into the fabric of the movement in the weeks, months, and years to come, following the moment of the whirlwind.

Although the moment of the whirlwind is critical in launching mass protest, it is the work of building relationships which allows any mass movement to achieve its goal.

The youth groups which backed the strike, like Climate Justice Toronto or Fridays For Future, are plugging young people across the country into the fight for a liveable planet and you can join us.

In other words: if you left the Climate Strike feeling dissatisfied or disillusioned, you can find power and bravery by diving into the work that is being done on the ground in solidarity with frontline communities targeted by the climate crisis.

Disclosure: Grace King was a Climate Justice Toronto organizer during the climate march.

Elxn 2019 and the Climate Crisis: A Youth Town Hall

Join us on Thursday October 3rd at the Tranzac Club from 6-8 PM as we discuss what it means to vote for the climate in the upcoming federal election. The night will be kicked off by a youth panel of climate, labour, and migrant justice activists, and then we will have a quick discussion on climate action with local MP candidates from across the GTA before splitting off into a roundtable town hall with all of the candidates, where you’ll get to speak one-on-one with candidates about their plans for climate action.

In Photos: U of T students join the Global Climate Strike in Toronto

Tens of thousands demand climate justice

In Photos: U of T students join the Global Climate Strike in Toronto

U of T students gathering outside of Sidney Smith

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U of T students marching toward Queen’s Park. | DINA DONG/THE VARSITY

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The rally at Queen’s Park

Aliénor Rougeot, head of Fridays for Future in Toronto giving her speech during the rally. | DINA DONG/THE VARSITY

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University of Toronto students participating in the climate strike. | DINA DONG/THE VARSITY

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The march in downtown Toronto

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The beginning of the march. | DINA DONG/THE VARSITY

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