As members of the Village of Cumberland stand in solidarity with youth and their allies in the face of a global climate crisis, some members of the village’s business community are doing the same.
On Friday at 3 p.m., a Climate Strike Cumberland Solidarity Rally is set for outside the Cumberland municipal office as part of the week-long worldwide strikes beginning Sept. 20 to 27.
More than 4,600 events are slated to take place in more than 120 countries. One of the organizers of the initiative is 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Allison MacKenzie of Dark Side Chocolates in Cumberland said months of feeling anxiety over what is going on in with the climate crisis prompted her to make the decision to close her store for the day.
“I was inspired by youth and Greta, and not knowing how to participate. What I have is a business and I wanted to make some kind of statement. It was a bit of a big decision, and I wanted to make sure to include my staff in the decision. Gratefully, they were all on board.”
MacKenzie noted she has spoken to a lot of business owners within the village, and some other businesses are doing the same. Others, she explained, may be closing for an hour.
“There’s different levels of participation … but we have a cohesive and supportive business community (in Cumberland). I’ve been thinking about what I can do for a while, and I realized (the rally) was coming up. It’s easy to spread awareness and I can use my business as a platform.”
In addition to the rally in Cumberland, the Youth Environmental Action team – a youth group dedicated to empowering and educating youth on climate change – is planning a March for Climate Change Sept. 27 at Simms Millennial Park at 1 p.m in Courtenay.