Virginia Tech and Blacksburg High School students take part in global climate strike

Published: Sep. 20, 2019 at 5:29 PM EDT
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Virginia Tech students and the greater Blacksburg community joined in Friday's global movement at the Virginia Tech Drillfield.

Heidi Hahn is a sophomore and an environmental policy and planning major at Virginia Tech.

"I'm passionate about stopping climate change because I've seen a lot of effects," Hahn said.

So when she saw that young people around the world were going to protest climate change, she had to join in.

"I visit the islands of Hawaii a lot and I've seen coral bleaching year by year that I've been there, I've seen and witnessed people whose houses have been taken through the mountain valley pipeline, I own bees at home in Charlottesville, and they have magically disappeared multiple times," Hahn explained.

She helped organize Friday's climate strike at Virginia Tech. Masses filled the Drillfield, and many individuals held up signs demanding action.

Senior Ross Cooper brought his drum along.

"I'm hoping that politicians hear that our voices are heard and that we're not silent," Cooper said.

Hahn added, "I think it's important for people to see our message that we're trying to spread, they understand where we're coming from, and we tell the university what we want and say that people support us."

Blacksburg High School Students created their own march and when they heard about Virginia Tech's--they decided to join forces.

"It is this love that has spurred you to action, and it is this action that can change our planet for the better," a Blacksburg High School student said to the crowd.

Blacksburg's Mayor and Vice-Mayor also showed up to the strike.

"We have to organize locally, state-wide, nationally, and international. We have to be all part of addressing climate change," Blacksburg Vice Mayor Susan Anderson said.

Students asked for their university to become 100% renewable by 2030 and that all the buses be electric, clean-energy, and powered from renewable energy sources.

Something Hahn certainly supports.

"I feel inspired, I feel supported by our community, I feel like we are making a difference, and hopefully the Virginia Tech administration will listen, meet our demands and cooperate with us," Hahn said.