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Students strike for climate action in Newark

University of Delaware students, activists and elected officials gathered at UD’s Newark campus Friday to demand action on climate change. 


The rally was part of the “global climate strike,” which has brought out young activists around the world.

The local event was co-organized by the Delaware Sierra Club and several UD groups. A group of elementary school students attended on a field trip from a nearby private school.

UD student Zach Roy founded his school’s chapter of the Climate Reality Project and spoke at the strike. He says he thinks it’s “embarrassing” that the youth have to be the ones making change on climate. 

“There’s college students who are choosing to strike instead of go to class. But high school, middle school— I think there was a kid over there who was like 8 who I was talking to earlier. It shouldn’t be their responsibility … I think the rise in the youth is why climate is finally coming on the front page.”

Dan Caraprezzi of UD’s Democratic Socialists of America was among several speakers to advocate for climate justice — one of the global strike’s central demands— as well as the Green New Deal.

“It’s time for the bold, necessary and transformative change that the Green New Deal [would bring], that truly ensures comfort, safety and justice for all of us, especially the poor, and the people of color, and the fossil fuel workers, and the indigenous community, and our immigrant community.”


Organizers said other demands included sovereignty of indigenous lands, a stop to deforestation by 2030 and investments in sustainable agriculture.

Attendees said they hoped national as well as local leaders were listening. The strike comes ahead of the U.N Climate Action summit on Monday in New York.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.