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Bozeman High School, MSU students march through rain for Sunrise Movement Climate March

Students join global effort to cause change
Posted at 1:52 PM, Sep 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-21 17:40:00-04

BOZEMAN — Hundreds of people, drumming drums and singing songs, marched through downtown Bozeman -- rain or shine.

Across the globe, from Australia to here in Bozeman, hundreds of thousands of people led a global strike as part of an effort for action on climate change.

That took hundreds of people, including MSU and Bozeman High School students, marching down Main Street — and the rain did not slow them down.

“It feels amazing, especially with the rain.”

With rain pouring down gutters and soaking their signs, hundreds of folks from Bozeman and beyond first gathered in Cooper Park.

That’s where they began, winding through the neighborhood toward Main Street.

It was cold, and turns out ponchos only work so well.

But cheers rose when another group appeared, this one, all Bozeman High School Students.

It’s all a part of adding Bozeman to a list of hundreds of other cities, from Melbourne, Australia to Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Sunrise Movement and the Montana Sierra Club led the strike, with the United Nations’ climate action summit on the horizon.

But watching is one thing.

So far, we know hundreds of students from Bozeman High School as well as Montana State University students are taking part in this, too.

“I think we have an opportunity to influence what our future looks like on this earth,” says Lita Keefer, a sophomore at Bozeman High School. “If other people aren’t going to do it, we need to take it into our own hands.”

Keefer and Bozeman high school sophomore Jessie Kalinowsi were among the horde.

“It’s cool to see our peers come together for something that’s so important,” Keefer says. “It’s pretty powerful.”

“I think it’s super cool that so many students care about this, like, taking time in the rain to come out here,” Kalinowski says.

The Global Climate Strike took students, young kids, their parents downtown, block after block.

Their destination, Bogert Park, where they were welcomed by music.

Organizer and lifetime Gallatin County native Sara Blessing stood at the helm.

“I woke up this morning and I was pretty scared that no one was going to be here but so many people turned out and their sticking through it when they’re getting wet and it’s just really incredible,” Blessing says.

To her, the crowds are a positive sign.

“It means so much to me as a 22-year-old,” Blessing says. “I have a lot to lose to the climate crisis, as do we all and we are all standing up for each other’s future. It means a lot to me that they care as much as I do.”

Students across the state also took part in the strike, including at the University of Montana.

They, including others, plan to strike every month on a Friday until they say they see an impact.