By Leonardo DeGorter –

Vancouver students walked out of their schools on May 3 for the fourth time since December. The school strike for climate action has a clear goal: address world leaders to take action against climate change in order to avoid its worst consequences. By fighting for a better future at an early age, students are helping to spread an obvious message: climate change is a time sensitive crisis that demands immediate action from policy makers. On May 3, thousands of students joined the movement across Canada.

Hundreds of youth took to the streets of Vancouver on May 3rd, during a school strike for the climate. The message was clear–they demand climate action now to avert the worst consequences of our climate crisis. This protest, the fourth in Vancouver since December, paralyzed a few streets downtown just before rush hour. Despite the traffic disruption, many drivers were sympathetic with the movement, honking their horns and waving at the crowd. Photo: Leonardo DeGorter

This unlikely movement of students trying to wake up our so-called leaders to scientific facts regarding our urgent crisis was started last year by Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old Swedish student. At the time, she started a one-girl strike for climate action outside the Swedish parliament building. From that first lonely day, the movement grew rapidly, now reaching hundreds of cities across the globe.

David Suzuki made an emotional speech, based on science and the political facts that lead the world, and Canada, to its current environmental crisis. Photo: Leonardo DeGorter

At the recent Vancouver rally, David Suzuki showed up and addressed the crowd at one point, making an emotional speech. Among other things, he called attention to how politics and corporate agendas have played down the scientific facts about climate change and cited the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change Report (IPCC) from October 2018, and how it’s still possible to revert course and avoid climate chaos, but only if we, in an unprecedented event, act decisively on changing our ways. At the event, hope and optimism were well balanced with the sense of urgency of this crisis.

Leonardo DeGorter is a documentary photographer focused on conservation and environmental issues. His work can be seen on


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