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Student-driven climate rally to march through downtown Nanaimo

A march starting at 4pm today at the Diana Krall Plaza is hoping to rally people behind a curricular change at VIU.

Jocelyn Maguire, VIU student and Master of Ceremonies for the event, said that they want to see more coming from VIU when it comes to climate action.

“We also have this letter that we have written asking a couple things,” she stated, “but it’s along the lines of ‘declare a climate emergency’ and ‘offer more courses with climate content.’”

Physical copies of the letter will be available during the strike to sign, and Maguire hopes to see a thousand people joining in the march, but admits there is a concern of it being crowded.

“We’re gonna have marshalls making sure that it’s pretty kind of spread out, so we’re not too cramped. We’re still trying to social distance as much as we possibly can. It might be a little difficult, but we’re gonna try to do what I think is as safe as possible.”

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The route of the march. Photo provided by Global Climate Strike Nanaimo 2021 WordPress page.

Marshalls will consist of organizers, but RCMP may also attend the strike. Maguire stressed adherence to COVID protocols, and getting information out about the route.

“The important thing about the march that we’re concerned about is we want to let people know that there are hills that are a little bit downhill and a little bit uphill, just so people are aware of how accessible it is.”

Speeches have been prepared by Maguire and the strike’s supporters, such as Julia Roberts from the Nanaimo Green Faith Circle, Sarah Lovegrove from Rise Bridge Project, and Steven Earle, Ph.D., author of “A Brief History of the Earth’s Climate,” Viraat Thammanna, a veteran, and Fred Speck.

Other supporters of the strike include Don Alexander, a retired geography professor at VIU and a member of the Sustainable Advisory Committee. Elise Boulanger, a local musician, will also be present at the strike.

You can read the full letter that will be delivered to the VIU President after the strike here. More information about the strike is available here. Maguire also encouraged those who wanted to show their support to send in their #Uprootthesystem artwork to the email [email protected] or to donate to Rise Bridge Project.

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