Mother, daughters on board to spread message at Town Hall Friday
Lianne Bertoni Lambert’s daughter Kaitlyn found out about 15-year-old protester Greta Thunberg while searching for a topic for a current events article for school.
Thunberg, frustrated by the lack of action on the climate crisis, sat in front of Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks. She shared her actions on social media, and became a viral sensation.
“I started following Greta on Facebook,” says Lianne, a mother of three living in the rural outskirts of Old Town. “I learned she was holding a global climate strike [Global Climate Strike for Future], and told Kaitlyn.” Both Kaitlyn and her friend and Grade 8 classmate at Crossroads, Elena Berardocco, were keen to participate, as were their siblings.
Lianne registered the Niagara-on-the-Lake event online, at fridaysforfuture.org. “Niagara was one of the only areas where there were no plans for strikes. We thought about going to St Catharines or Niagara Falls but decided it was important to do it at our own Town Hall,” she says. “We have a new council, and they talk a lot about youth.”
The goal is to make decision-makers aware that kids care about the environment. “Their future will be affected if decision-makers are not pro-environment. It’s important for kids to know they have a voice. Kaitlyn asked me, ‘What am I going to tell my kids if I don’t do something about this now? If I do this I can at least tell them I tried.’”
“Success is them getting their message across. It would be great if we had a little crowd. Even 10 kids who care and can spread their message and realize they have a voice. Parents need to support their kids’ beliefs. Kids are very empathetic and have a tendency to want to make things better.”