by Sturgeon Moritz - Social Media Editor The Connection
Madison Country Day School
It's a climate emergency and high school students are calling the authorities! Most of us can't vote yet, but the Waunakee Action for the Climate Emergency (ACE) team is using their voice to make change today. This Earth Day a protest inside the Wisconsin State Capitol Rotunda was organized by ACE Waunakee, and also included students from Madison East, Madison West, Wisconsin Heights, Middleton, La Follette, and Madison Country Day high schools making a total of roughly 40 students. The goal? To get Governor Evers to declare a state of climate emergency, thus allowing him to pursue climate action without it getting immediately stopped by the state legislature.
Isak Drangstveit, leader of ACE Waunakee and the main organizer of the protest, described the event: "Protesters entered the capitol and stayed in the Capitol Rotunda with signs calling for a declaration of a climate emergency. During the two hour action, students chanted slogans about the climate crisis and its effects which echoed profoundly through the Capitol's four wings. [I] also spoke to two staff of the Governor’s Office who kindly asked for our demands." In addition to this, an elementary school field trip witnessed the protest on their tour of the capitol, as did many other citizens and even a local singing group.
Isak also adds the fact that "Current youth will live through the consequences of the climate crisis because government representatives postpone votes in support of climate policies. I think it is important to note that this protest had no support from a political party or group and aimed to be non-partisan. Petty political feuds are some of the largest obstacles of climate advocacy. Each disaster is quickly attributed to something other than the changing climate or ignored altogether. We understand that a declaration of a climate emergency could possibly be repealed by the legislature, and to that we implore a bipartisan effort to slow the crisis. To each legislator that would vote to repeal the declaration we ask you to look at the facts and think about your children or your constituents' children and their future. This problem is not just a social activism fad but a serious crisis that will have major impacts on every citizen."
ACE Waunakee and other student-run environmental activism clubs across Dane County will keep taking to the streets until the emergency alarm is rung and they get the change they deserve. Any students who wish to join the rapidly growing mass movement are more than welcome to! Follow ace_Waunakee on Instagram for immediate updates, and contact Isak and ACE Waunakee at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.