Nearly five hundred students, activists and other community residents are expected to demonstrate in the St Andrews Climate Strike on Friday, marching to the shore and forming a massive human chain to call attention to global climate change.
The strike, organised by Climate Action St Andrews, is the culmination of nearly a year of similar protests designed to call attention to the threats posed by a changing climate. Friday’s event, both in St. Andrews and around the world, is expected to the largest such protest in recent memory.
“Climate change is a massive problem that affects the entire world,” Tom Morley, co-founder of Climate Action St Andrews, said. “We’re participating in a global coordinated event – we’re expecting millions of people from hundreds of countries to come out and strike in unison.”
The event will begin in St Salvator’s Quad at 11am Friday, where students will congregate before marching to West Sands Beach to meet with other demonstrators around noon. Marchers will then form a line facing the sea, contemplating how climate change will affect both the global community and our own during a five-minute period of silence.
A number of prominent speakers are expected to appear: Stephen Gethins MP and Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Willie Rennie will address the crowd, as will Lorna Milne, Deputy Principal and Master of the United College.
Organisers hope the strike will force climate change into the political spotlight, calling greater attention to an issue that many see as an existential threat to human society.
Morley continued, “We’re trying to push the issue of climate change onto the political agenda, and its starting to be successful in Europe especially and in the US a bit as well. We are seeing politicians increasingly waking up and realising they need to act now before it’s too late. This is something that people really care about and is an issue that people will vote for.”
Student leaders also hope that the strike will further efforts to convince the University to declare a climate emergency, which Climate Action leaders see as a potential “big step forward for environmentalism in our community.”
All are welcome to attend the event, which has received additional support from a number of student advocacy groups, including Amnesty St Andrews, Earth Strike UK, and Extinction Rebellion St Andrews.