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Hundreds in Milwaukee join global protests on climate change

Posted: 6:11 PM, Sep 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-20 22:46:22-04

MILWAUKEE — Dozens of global demonstrations are happening for climate change, including here in Milwaukee.

Hundreds of people, most very young, marched from City Hall to the North Point Tower on Friday to protest about climate change.

Crowd of protesters for climate change in Milwaukee

"It's great, but it's also kind of sad when you think about it," said Ayanna Lee, an organizer of the march. "Elementary school kids have to worry about their future being taken away instead of living their lives."

Lee is a high school student at Rufus King. She and other organizers said even though many of the protesters can't vote, demonstrations such as this let those in charge know what's coming as they grow up.

Sanders supporter at climate change protest in Milwaukee

"We're the ones that are going to have our future changed," said Lauryn Cross, another organizer. "This is now our responsibility to take action on it."

"It's great, but it's also kind of sad when you think about it. Elementary school kids have to worry about their future being taken away instead of living their lives." — Ayanna Lee, an organizer of the march

However, elected officials such as Sen. Ron Johnson question climate change fears.

"The world isn't going to end in a dozen years," Johnson said. "I'm not an alarmist. I would much rather spend our dollars adapting to something that I don't think we can prevent anyway. When you look at these massive temperature swings, regardless whether man is here or not, what can you really do about it?"

But views such as Johnson's won't stop some of the younger generation from pushing forward for change.

Climate change strike Friday in Milwaukee

"If we don't do anything about it, it's like our home is basically burning down right now," said Taryn Hoppe, who is 9 years old. She inspired her family and friends to attend Friday's march.

It will be a long time before she votes, but she plans on taking action as she grows up.

"The world isn't going to end in a dozen years. I'm not an alarmist. I would much rather spend our dollars adapting to something that I don't think we can prevent anyway. When you look at these massive temperature swings, regardless whether man is here or not, what can you really do about it?" — Sen. Ron Johnson

"I'm probably going to donate money to stuff like this," Taryn said. "I might even organize things like this with adults and kids."

Youth Climate Action Team of Wisconsin said it plans to hold another protest later this year and wants to get more kids involved.

"We'll definitely be connecting with people after this," Lee said. "We'll get a really strong youth base in Milwaukee and meet people where they are. We want to make sure we have opportunities for people to come out and help when they can."