Alex McLachlan and Jacksun Fryer, Dover Bay Secondary students, attended a Extinction Rebellion-hosted climate action rally this afternoon at Diana Krall Plaza. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo high school students cut class to attend climate action rally

Extinction Rebellion Nanaimo rally raises awareness, demands action against climate change

Nanaimo-Ladysmith students cut class to raise their voices against climate change Friday.

Students were among those attending an International Day of Climate Protest and march hosted by Extinction Rebellion Nanaimo at Diana Krall Plaza this afternoon. The international movement seeks to “halt mass extinction.”

While the high school students weren’t of voting age yet, they think there are environmental issues that should be front of mind for candidates of the upcoming federal election.

“We’re here coming from Dover because we think the Earth is dying and it’s more important to be here than at school so we walked out of school today,” said Jacksun Fryer. “The candidates, we think, should be talking about what France is heading towards to, which is electric vehicles. I actually just bought an electric vehicle and I’m hoping that my school puts in a charging station because we need to head towards a greener planet.”

RELATED: March for Climate held in Nanaimo in lead-up to global strike

Lauren Spencer-Smith said climate change in general is something people should consider in the election.

“The Earth is on fire and we need to do something to fix it and if we don’t make change, nothing is going to get better,” Spencer-Smith said.

Emily Anderson, event spokesperson, said a ban on plastics is something candidates should address.

“Basically we need some bigger change, stuff that people need to implement all around the world,” said Anderson. “For example, single-use plastics, should we ban them? Yeah, they should be criminal. Nobody should be supplying them or using them and we should make it illegal … we’re not policy-makers, so we don’t know what will help make the biggest impacts, but we can first start by starting to see the changes happen.”

Organizers estimate 250 people attended the march.

There wasn’t any directive from the school district regarding attending the rally during school hours.

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