Dumbo climate strike highlights communities of color

Speaking up: A young protester addresses the crowd at the protest that kicked off the during the seventh annual Climate Justice Youth Summit in Dumbo on Sept. 20.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

These protestors are heating up!

While tens of thousands of students marched against climate change in Manhattan last Friday, a group of Brooklyn youngsters staged their own protest in Dumbo to highlight the impact of global warming on people of color.

Dozens of students rallied during the seventh annual Climate Justice Youth Summit on the second anniversary of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, to draw attention to the havoc that climate change has already wrought on poorer areas of the world, according to one of the organizers.

“For a lot of young people and the conversation around the climate strike it’s about 10 years, but this is a lived experience for so many people we brought to the protest,” said AJ Hudson, an organizer with the Greenwood Heights-based Latino community organization Uprose. “It’s not a theoretical emergency, it’s something they’re dealing with right now.”

Protesters read out the names of the people who died during the Maria and banged drums, sang, and chanted in English and Spanish as they marched through Dumbo’s Bridge Street streets to Pebble Beach around 1 pm.

The protest was followed the next day by workshops and speeches for the middle and high schoolers and college students to learn about climate activism, according to Hudson.

The Friday demonstration took place on the same day that 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg led a massive student strike on the distant Isle of Manhattan.

The Kings County rally was not a counter-protest, but focused on specifically giving young people of color the center stage, according to Hudson.

“She doesn’t really represent the people who will be dealing with the brunt of the climate change, that’s our youth,” he said. “It’s not about having a savior, it’s about having many leaders from around the world, that’s what grassroots is about.”

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.

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