ALBANY -- Students and activists across the Capital Region plan to join millions of others across the world Friday protesting inaction in the face of global climate change.
Marchers, streaming out of Albany High School, the University at Albany and the College of Saint Rose, plan to converge at West Capitol Park for an early afternoon rally. Other activists plan to march on various local and state agencies across Albany, demanding immediate action to stop further development of fossil fuel infrastructure and a massive investment in renewable energy technologies.
“We’ve got to get beyond the point where the call is let’s take action on the climate,” said Mark Dunlea, an organizer involved in the climate event.
A primary march, organized by People of Albany United for Safe Energy, PAUSE, will visit state-owned gas plants that heat and cool the state Capitol and State Plaza complex, as well as the state Department of Environmental Conservation, state Comptroller and the Public Service Commission. That march will start at 11 a.m. Friday at 79 Sheridan Ave. in Albany.
Separate marches of students leaving UAlbany and Albany High School will meet up with the PAUSE-led group for the rally at West Capitol Park, where speakers will include student leaders. The rally is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Audrea Din, a recent Schalmont High School graduate and UAlbany student, is leading the student protest. She said by email Tuesday she expected Friday’s event to much bigger than similar events organized in Albany in recent years.
The day of activism comes as part of an international movement of student-led climate protests. In New York City, over 1 million public school students were provided amnesty to participate in the climate strike in the city without facing school consequences.
“The student voice is the only thing that gives me hope in this climate fight, because they get it, they are mobilized about it, they are smart, they aren’t taking the kind of bull that we adults have for 30 years,” Dunlea said.