FARGO — Activists held a march through downtown and speeches at Fargo City Hall on Friday, Sept. 24, to raise awareness about the threat of climate change and to call for local action to go along with worldwide efforts.

Martin Fredricks IV, who has founded the local nonprofit Knights of the Climate Covenant, a group he said is for "everyday people," helped organize the event, which attracted about 75 people of all ages, but mostly a younger crowd.

The local protest was part of "Fridays For Future," founded by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. It was one of more than 1,000 events worldwide.

Fredricks said his efforts are in part driven by worries for his three children and their future but told the crowd the other reason was one simple word: Hope.

Martin C. Fredricks IV introduces the next speaker to the crowd during a march for climate justice on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, at Fargo City Hall.
Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum
Martin C. Fredricks IV introduces the next speaker to the crowd during a march for climate justice on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, at Fargo City Hall. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

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The hope expressed by Fredericks and the crowd was that people could join together in the call for "system change, not climate change."

Local politicians joined student leaders from Minnesota State University Moorhead and Concordia College speaking at the event.

"(The) greed of corporations is putting profits over people," said MSUM student body president Jess Mueller, who is studying political science and sustainability.

Mueller urged the crowd to channel its anger into demanding action from local city councils, school boards and campuses.

Environmental advocates hold homemade signs as they walk together down the sidewalk along Broadway in downtown Fargo on their way to Fargo City Hall during a march for climate justice on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.
Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum
Environmental advocates hold homemade signs as they walk together down the sidewalk along Broadway in downtown Fargo on their way to Fargo City Hall during a march for climate justice on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

"It will take electing more people who believe in climate change," she added.

The effects of climate change present themselves in floods, droughts, hurricanes and wildfires seen across the nation this year, said David Kelm, a senior at Concordia and intern with the college's sustainability program who helped organize an environmental student organization.

State Rep. Ruth Buffalo, D-Fargo, and State Sen. Tim Mathern were also at the rally and urged the rallygoers to get involved politically.

"It's not my movement, your movement, but our movement," Buffalo said.