The local chapter of the Sunrise Movement and the Montana Sierra Club are leading a strike on Friday as part of a global effort to demand action on climate change.

Bozeman is one of hundreds of cities around the world participating in the Global Climate Strike in advance of the United Nations’ climate action summit on Monday. At the summit, world leaders will identify ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% over the next decade and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Bozeman marchers will meet at Cooper Park at 1 p.m. and begin walking at 1:30 p.m. They will head down Main Street to Bogert Park, where they will gather to hear speakers and musicians.

“I hope the march encourages people and gets them excited to act to address climate change,” said Sara Blessing, an event organizer and the leader of the Sunrise Movement’s Gallatin Valley chapter. “All of us standing up together is the way for us to push for a better future.”

The strike is an offshoot of the Fridays For Future campaign, a student-led movement that called on kids to leave school on Fridays to demand government action on climate change. Students participating in the campaign have asked everyone to join them in a strike on Friday.

“We must all work toward a livable future for ourselves and our kids,” said Greg Findley, an event organizer and member of the Sunrise Movement. “We can’t just let the kids do it. We can’t go about business as usual.”

Students — including those from Bozeman High School, Montana State University, Bozeman Field School and Headwaters Academy — plan to join in Friday’s strike.

Children as young as seven will be among the speakers at Bogert Park. Other speakers include MSU community development professor Paul Lachapelle, Crow Tribe member Shane Doyle, Greater Gallatin United Way President and CEO Danica Jamison and Episcopal priest Valerie Webster.

“The climate crisis is real and top scientists around the world have told us we have to act now, but we don’t have the political will to act,” Findley said. “We have to change that.”

As part of the Global Climate Strike, events are scheduled around the world through Sept. 27. The Sunrise Movement in Bozeman is hosting an event at MAP Brewing on Sept. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. to cap off the week-long campaign.

At the event, candidates for office in the fall municipal election and the 2020 election will discuss their views on climate change. The Sunrise Movement will encourage them to sign a pledge not to accept more than $200 in donations from the fossil fuel industry. The event will also serve as the campaign kickoff for Democrat Reilly Neill, who is running for governor with a focus on climate change.

Perrin Stein can be reached at 406-582-2648 or at pstein@dailychronicle.com. Follow her on Twitter @PerrinStein.

Support quality local journalism. Become a subscriber.

Subscribers get full, survey-free access to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle's award-winning coverage both on our website and in our e-edition, a digital replica of the print edition.