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Students Skip Class to Protest Inaction on Climate Change

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Todd Bookman/NHPR
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Students from the Seacoast area participated in Friday’s worldwide Youth Climate Strike, a coordinated event demanding immediate action on climate change.

In Portsmouth’s Market Square, a thick crowd of students from local high schools held up signs, passed around a bullhorn, and called for the end of fossil fuels.

“If we do nothing then we are just bystanders, and climate change is on us,” said Tessa Lippman, who attends Oyster River High School. “This cannot be our fault. We have to stand up and fight back and ensure that we have a future with this planet.”

Recent anti-climate change protests began with a 16-year old Swedish high schooler Greta Thunberg. On Friday, she tweeted that students from 125 countries were taking part in a day of action.

Local events were organized in part by Portsmouth High School students Connor Durkin and Eliza Rakaseder. They said two main goals are a shift toward 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2030, and passage of the Green New Deal by Congress.

Rakaseder said while there aren’t any additional rallies planned locally, she expects more climate strikes in the future.

“ It doesn’t stop right here. We are going to continue fighting.”

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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