Fridays For Future arrives at RM


Graphic by Kenneth Shue

Fridays for Future began its regular meetings at RM during lunch on Nov. 1.

Starting in 2018, 15-year-old Greta Thunberg and other youth began protesting in front of the Swedish parliament. She posted her campaign online under the hashtag #FridaysForFuture, with a message driven by demand for current leaders to take action on climate change. Thunberg soon went viral, inspiring thousands of youth around the world to take climate action and sparking a new global movement.

Fridays For Future is an international movement of youth fighting to stop climate change. According to the Fridays For Future website, 14 million youth from 7,500 different cities all over the world make up this movement. One of these local climate activists at RM is freshman Rosie Clemans-Cope.

Clemans-Cope has been running weekly Fridays For Future functions since fifth grade. “[Fridays For Future protests] are to engage students in education about climate change, because we only have about eight years left to get our lawmakers to pass legislation to get us to net zero emissions by 2050,” Clemans-Cope said. “This is a fight for the future generations and this is a fight for people experiencing the deadly effects of climate change today.” She is also the leader of the Sunrise Rockville Club, which aims to fight for a New Green Deal.

Clemans-Cope’s philosophy is that climate change is the biggest issue that the world faces today. “Climate change is endangering the future of humanity, endangering the future generations on this planet, and also has deadly effects that are happening today,” she said. “The catastrophes that are happening because of human caused climate change are only going to get worse.” 

She believes that if people do not take action now, the damage already created will soon be irreversible. Fridays for Future is focused on the potential reality of climate change.

Clemans-Cope had previously been running weekly Fridays For Future at Julius West, and is now planning to host Fridays For Future at RM.

“It’s so important that youth get educated on the science of climate change, and then join movements that are protesting in the streets [and] that are fighting for political change,” Clemans-Cope said. “And the basis of any great movement is people power, people getting involved and the biggest number of people out protesting that you can get.” 

Some participants in Fridays For Future felt that the experience not only allowed them to become involved in the fight for climate change, but also educated them further about the issue. Freshman Brynn Johnson, who regularly attended Fridays For Future functions at Julius West Middle School, said, “I wanted to become more educated and aware of the climate crisis and how I can help.”