Day One of Missoula’s Climate Strike began with speeches from high school and college students to a receptive crowd of supporters at Caras Park on Friday morning.

One speaker, a student from Hellgate High School began with a question to the crowd.

“Who’s pissed off?” she yelled to a loud cheer of approval. “My name is Rosie and I go to Hellgate High School. We are withholding our consent to be taught by teachers in a school district that do not take seriously the ecological destruction of our living world. We are joining with students across the globe who can no longer accept the lack of leadership and courage demonstrated by the adult world, and in this case, educators.”

Another student who identified herself as Olivia was next at the microphone.

“We need to let our friends know that according to a recent study that just 100 corporations are responsible for 71 percent of global emissions,” she said. “We need to let them know that the fires in the Amazon were deliberately set to make more room for cattle. We need to let them know that the U.S. military is the world’s biggest producer of greenhouse gases. We can still fix this. It is up to us (cheers)”.

Another student expressed her frustration that the adult world is too complacent about climate change.

“Humanity is failing us because we have become complacent in our capitalist society,” (cheers) she said. “Our complacency in accepting minor changes and platitudes will be the end of our lives. We will not be complacent anymore (more cheers)”.

The moderator provided information about the speakers who would be appearing in Missoula, as well as the events to protest climate change planned throughout the week detailed in the Missoula’s Climate Strike website.

Students were told in a letter from the MCPS superintendent’s office that they would have to have written permission from their parents to miss their Friday classes.