Why is there a Black Friday Climate Strike?

Via: @climatestrikeil on Instagram

Via: @climatestrikeil on Instagram

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The first Friday after Thanksgiving is known for the “to-kill-for” discounts, but this holiday’s practice of selling and buying goods can hurt the environment. Illinois Youth Climate Strike (ILYCS) and Sunrise Movement Chicago will be striking in downtown Chicago on Black Friday to emphasize the issue of consumerism. They will also strike for Indigenous peoples’ rights even though they help protect the environment, yet their rights need protection too.

Both groups want to bring awareness about fast fashion, which is the quick production of clothes to keep up with the demands of trends. This practice is active, especially during Black Friday. Sadly, fast fashion is the 2nd leading polluter in the world after the oil industry. 95% of used textiles can be recycled, but 85% end up in landfills, according to Executive Director of Recycled Textiles international trade association Jackie King.

  ILYCS and Sunrise Movement believe that the Earth is in danger, but also the rights of Indigenous people are in danger. They make up 5% of the world population but protect about 80% of the world’s biodiversity (National Geographic). They have an engraved right to protect the environment according to the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The climate crisis hurts these people, especially pipelines, according to Niles North senior student and ILYCS Core member Rebeca Price. Their homes get hurt by logging and construction work despite their role in protecting the environment.

“This is called climate racism, where the people who have the smallest impact on global warming are most heavily affected by it,” Niles North freshman student and ILYCS ambassador Merav Price said. But the status of our environment can be improved.

Even though signing up for the strike is closed, people can still show support through social media: