On Friday, October 25, Fridays For Future held a mass action event focused on the prioritization of diversity in environmental spaces on campus at the seal outside Homer Babbidge Library. The protest began at noon with speeches and was followed by a march to Gulley Hall.
Michio Agresta, third-semester natural resources major and a member of Fridays For Future’s mass action committee, referenced the March Against Racism that occurred Monday, Oct. 20 as part of the theme of the protest.
“The purpose of this mass action is all about climate justice, which encapsulates the political, social and ethical problems with climate change,” Agresta said. “This is all in relation to the race rally on Monday, and how we want to bring in the topic of intersectionality within UConn to topic of climate change.”
Katharine Morris, a fifth-semester cognitive science and anthropology double major, echoed this concern in her speech at the event.
“There is no environmental justice without social justice,” Morris said.
Following the protest on the seal, there was a march to Gulley Hall. The event concluded with the fifth sit-in in President Katsouleas’s office, which marks the end of the sixth week of Fridays For Future protests.
Hanna Westby, first-semester political science major, said she didn’t know what to expect as it was her first time attending an event organized by Fridays For Future. However, she said she was happy with how it went.
“I think they’re getting their point across and I’m understanding what they’re trying to get from UConn. It helps me see what their views are and what their demands are,” Westby said. “I care about the Earth a lot, and I wanted to start taking more action.”
Though he considered the event a success, Agresta said Fridays For Future still has more planned.
“I think we’ve been very successful thus far in what we’ve tried to accomplish considering that several of our goals have been addressed by UConn administration,” Agresta said. “However, I don’t think that is any reason for us to slow down or stop. I think that there’s a lot more work for us to do.”
The UConn chapter of Fridays For Future began as part of the Global Climate Strike, a series of strikes and protests that took place nationwide from Sept. 20 to Sept. 27. Their first major protest was held Sept. 20, during which the group outlined their seven demands for the administration. The demands range from officially declaring a climate emergency to making the campus carbon neutral by 2030.
Following that initial protest, Fridays For Future announced their intention to hold sit-ins every Friday until their demands for the administration are met. They have since held strong to this commitment.
Grace McFadden is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.