Through the work of an intergenerational team, 350 Maine is engaging young people in their sustainable futures and supporting their initiatives to address climate change. For more information on our youth engagement work, check out this page.
School Strikes for Climate
Inspired by the commitment and initiative of fifteen year-old Swedish student activist Greta Thunberg, who began a solitary school strike in front of the Swedish Parliament, five middle school students from the Friends School of Portland on Friday February 8th, left their school early to strike for climate justice. The five Friends School Students—all members of YELL [Youth Environmental Leaders League] for Climate Justice—handed out flyers identifying themselves and collected signatures in support of the Green New Deal. Their petition was addressed to Senator Susan Collins, urging support for the GND Resolution just placed before the U.S. Congress by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey. The students ended their strike by walking down to Sen.Collins’ Portland Office and personally delivering their petition.
March 15th Youth Climate Strikes
Students throughout Maine, many part of Maine Youth for Climate Justice, organized multiple actions on Friday March 15th in Maine, part of an international day of strikes for climate action. These young people ranged from elementary school to college students. 350 Maine's youth engagement team, along with many other intergenerational organizations, utilized their organizing resources to support these student organizers.
On Friday, hundreds to thousands of Maine youth walked out of their schools or workplaces across the state! Rallies were held in Bar Harbor, Lewiston, Brunswick, Portland, and Scarborough where young people gathered to chant, sing, and demand bold climate action. Smaller actions also occurred at many schools in Maine, including Cape Elizabeth High School, Kennebunk High School, Deering High School, Fryeburg Academy, and the Center for Teaching and Learning.
These strikes were part of a larger international movement where "more than 1 million students skipped school on Friday or protest government inaction on climate change," across 125 countries, according to the Guardian.
Portland rally, courtesy of Shawn Patrick Ouellette at the Portland Press Herald
To learn more, check out media coverage on the Maine strikes below or US Youth Climate Strike's website.
Let's Keep the Momentum Going
As we celebrate March 15th's success all across the world, it is important to make sure that the energy does not die and that this movement continues!
If you are a young person interested in joining the youth led climate justice movement in Maine that has worked to implement actions like this, contact our Youth Engagement Coordinator at [email protected]
You can also continue to strike on Fridays, part of the Fridays for Future movement. Please contact 350 Maine if you need any support in organizing your own Friday strike or connecting with YELL for Climate Justice students who strike every other Friday in Portland.
Lewiston action, courtesy of Daryn Slover at the Sun Journal