Fridays for Future Needham

Needham, MA
By Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

Fridays For Future Needham works to make people aware of the climate emergency and the need for immediate decarbonization and advancing climate and environmental justice. FFF Needham holds weekly vigils on Friday afternoons on the Town Common of Needham, Massachusetts, adjacent to Need Town Hall. Beginning the first week of November 2021, we are meeting at 2:30-5:00 p.m. so students from schools can attend. You don't have to come at the beginning or remain until the end. Stop by. Hold a sign for a time. Start a chant. Say some words. You are welcome.

Fridays For Future or FFF, is a youth-led and -organised global climate strike movement that started in August 2018, when 15-year-old Greta Thunberg began a school strike for climate. In the three weeks leading up to the Swedish election, she sat outside of Swedish Parliament every school day, demanding urgent action on the climate crisis. She was tired of society’s unwillingness to see the climate crisis for what it is: a crisis.

To begin with, she was alone, but she was soon joined by others. On the 8th of September, Greta and her fellow school strikers decided to continue their strike until the Swedish policies provided a safe pathway well under 2° C, i.e. in line with the Paris agreement. They created the hashtag #FridaysForFuture, and encouraged other young people all over the world to join them. This marked the beginning of the global school strike for climate.

Their call for action sparked an international awakening, with students and activists uniting around the globe to protest outside their local parliaments and city halls. Along with other groups across the world, Fridays for Future is part of a hopeful new wave of change, inspiring millions of people to take action on the climate crisis. As Greta has said, "We need everyone, not just youth."

Devarim 16:18 says "Justice, justice shall you pursue!" We begin steeped with climate justice. Doing so it is essential to remember injustices our European predecessors committed on these lands, some horrific. We gather on the occupied territory of the Massa-adchu-eset and Pawtucket peoples, who have stewarded this land for generations. We remember that black lives matter, and in no small way was our prosperity achieved by exploiting the lives of people of color as well as the Earth. Our United States government has for more than 50 years known about climate disruption due to fossil fuels and what needed to be done to stop it, and has done essentially nothing.

While European culture brought the world many good things, including the mathematics and science which allows us to understand and appreciate in depth the situation in which we find ourselves and the tools we need to fix it, that culture, and the cultures of the Global North also brought an exploitative and consumptive attitude and set of myths. Well before James Watt and fossil fuels, for example, people were building wooden warships. It's well documented that some French warships in the late 17th and early 18th century each required 7000 oak trees to build them. Those and countless other natural resources were consumed for their ropes and cannon.

Here are our demands, and why we will be holding vigils each Friday as long as it takes, and as consistently as we can manage it:

We demand that our United States, Massachusetts, and all governments do whatever it takes to:

  1. Keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 °C compared to pre-industrial levels.
  2. Ensure climate justice and equity.
  3. Listen to the best united science currently available.

Thank you. We strike in joy, and we fight on with non-violence, peace, and love.

Our Actions

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