The streets of downtown Toronto surrounding Queen’s Park and cities and towns across Canada and around the world were filled with protesters taking part in a climate strike Sept. 27 to demand immediate action to address global climate change. Photo by Joshua Santos

Thousands rally for Earth’s future

By 
  • October 3, 2019

Tens of thousands of people in Toronto joined more than 80 other youth-led marches across Canada on Sept. 27 to demand immediate action to address global climate change.

Inspired by teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and in advance of the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon being convened in Rome by Pope Francis, students surged into the streets in peaceful waves brandishing signs — such as “Human change, not climate change” and “You will die of old age, I will die of climate change” — as they rallied at Queen’s Park, and in cities and towns across the country.

“It’s a beautiful expression of solidarity and also of our interconnectedness as people on this Earth,” said Natalie Rizzo of Development and Peace.

Development and Peace sent 20 representatives to the climate protest. The international development agency of Canada’s Catholic bishops is in the midst of a campaign called “For Our Common Home” encouraging climate justice, particularly in the Amazon region, to preserve the planet for future generations.

Rizzo believes that Catholics have a responsibility to be stewards of the Earth.

“Pope Francis talks about integral ecology and how the cries of the Earth are tethered to the cries of the poor,” said Rizzo. “Our consumption and our greed in the West directly negatively impacts the poorest of the poor in the global south.

“As Catholics, we are called to be in solidarity with people of the South to adjust our habit and to stand up and use our voice to demand change.”

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