Sign of the times: the risk of heavy rains disrupts the march of young people for the climate. The event, initially scheduled for Saturday September 24, 2022 in Montpellier, has been brought forward to Friday. According to Mathis Montelon, a high school student from “Youth for climate” who is one of the coordinators of the Montpellier march, young people are rising up and worrying more and more about the inaction of the public authorities.
Initiated by the young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg in 2018, the movement “Youth for Climate” France set up in Montpellier in 2019. In the capital of Languedoc, as in a good hundred other cities in France, young people will once again be pounding the pavement to demand a future for the planet. and so, for them, this fall.
The procession will leave at 2 p.m. from the Esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle and will follow a route registered with the prefecture: the event must cross the center of the old town, pass through the Peyrou gardens and the prefecture, before returning to its point departure.
This demonstration, scheduled for Saturday, was brought forward by 24 hours because of the weather conditions: taking a Mediterranean episode on your head on the day of the march for the climate, is it a bad omen?
“The fact that it’s raining this Saturday is indeed a symbol that means something! The weather that bothers young people does not cheer us up. It’s already not joy, we fight literally for everyone, to save the planet” sighs Mathis Montelon, one of the coordinators of the Montpellier “Youth for climate” march.
The announcement of this last-minute change was published on Wednesday on the tweeter account of this movement of young people who are mobilizing, in Montpellier, for climate and social justice, the protection of the environment and biodiversity:
Your “Youth For Climate” collective calls for concrete and urgent measures, commensurate with the current ecological and social crisis. What do you think of the responses provided by the State?
“We cannot say that the last five years have been marked by ecology! And for the one who starts, we do not see a strong signal. We are skeptical and not necessarily optimistic. Many young people are eco-anxious or eco-furious.” says this 17-year-old high school student.
“This summer has been very hot and very dry, global warming is here and we need to mobilize as many people as possible to push politicians to do something effective.”
The IPCC scientists said that we had three years to act, to save the planet before reaching the point of no return, so we will do our best for that. But if we look at the policy of France and Europe in favor of ecology, we are quite disappointed. We are skeptical and not necessarily optimistic for the future.”
Last year, during the demonstrations in September and March, there were around 500 demonstrators in the procession each time, mainly high school and university students. Is there still work to be done to convince young people of the current urgency for the planet?
“Yes, it is true that in 2019 there were more young people on the streets during the climate marches, it was new and trendy. In 2020, there were no major demonstrations because of the Covid and in 2021, around 500 people in each procession. But, nevertheless, I note that on the side of high school students, we see more and more young people of my generation interested in the subject.
There is still work to change the mentalities of young people, especially on certain food gestures: like going to fast food less, eating less meat. There are also efforts to be made in terms of consumption: buying lots of clothes to be fashionable or looking for the latest phone, it’s not an obligation!
But, in fact, young people often reproduce the habits of their parents. Besides, parents are welcome at the Friday march, like all generations.