Students attend climate strike

On Friday Sep 20, students from West High protested at the Iowa City Global Climate Strike at the University of Iowa Pentacrest.

Bess Frerichs and Renee Gould

Hundreds of students and activists lay down in unison on the lawn of the University of Iowa Pentacrest, completely silent. They stayed like that, under in the sun in 90 degree weather, for 11 minutes, in what is known as a die-in, a form of protest where participants play dead. This die-in was organized by City High student Massimo Paciotto-Biggers ‘23, who spoke at the event.

“The Amazon is burning. Houston is flooding. We have 11 years to act,” Paciotto-Biggers said. “We will have a die-in for 11 minutes to represent the 11 years we have left to act on climate change.”

The Amazon is burning. Houston is flooding. We have 11 years to act.”

— Massimo Paciotto-Biggers '23

The Climate Strike was facilitated around the globe by various organizations; in Iowa City, by Sunrise Movement, which reached out to colleges and high schools to raise awareness for the march and to urge nonviolent action to raise awareness for climate change.

Tony Abdel-Malek ‘22, Liam Edberg ‘22 and Cormac Nabhan-Warren ‘22 were some of the West High students who went to the strike. Students skipped or were excused from seventh period to be able to get to the Pentacrest at 3 pm.

“[We’re here] to voice our opinions about climate change and the Green [New] Deal and stuff like that,” Abdel-Malek said. Abdel-Malek admits he isn’t an expert on the topic, but he wanted to show support to the cause with his friends.

Students went to the strike with the same goal as the other attendees: to protect the environment and the future. One of the specific problems discussed at the strike was switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy while making sure that the economy doesn’t suffer because of it.

“We need to transform our energy system and the greed of the fossil fuel industry and guarantee a transition for workers and communities, and I know that’s what it says on the pamphlet but it’s true,” Edberg said. “I’m here because if I don’t support the environment, going to school is really worthless for my future.”

I’m here because if I don’t support the environment, going to school is really worthless for my future.”

— Liam Edberg

Nabhan-Warren offered his personal solution for fighting against climate change.

“Here’s what we have to do,” Nabhan-Warren said. “We have to elect more progressive candidates, we need to ignore the moderates. We need to actually support change.”

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