About a dozen people on Friday, Sept. 25, demonstrated against climate change and the economic forces they believe are behind it.

The Red River Valley Democratic Socialists of America held a “climate strike” at Town Square in downtown Grand Forks, soliciting occasional honks in solidarity from cars passing along DeMers Avenue. Their demonstration was under the figurative banner of Fridays For Future, a “global climate strike movement” founded by Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen who’s become a talisman for climate activists across the world. Chapter members in Fargo planned a similar demonstration alongside other environmental and social justice organizations.

“We figured we’d make sure that Grand Forks also knows we’re demanding change,” Dalton Erickson, the chapter’s treasurer, told the Herald. “We need systemic change to the global economy in order to stop and put an end to climate change and reverse what’s already been done.”

That means implementing the Green New Deal and, more locally, putting a halt to the Line 3 oil pipeline project in northwestern Minnesota. Even more locally, they envision worker cooperatives, promoting “green” energy, plus improving public transit and the bikeability and walkability of the Grand Cities.

In their estimation, capitalism itself is the main force behind the climate change they hope to combat.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

“Profit motive means that the environment will always come second, at best, to profits,” Doug Richards, the chapter’s spokesperson, said. “The competitive nature of the system means that, no matter what good intentions a corporation or whoever might have, they're motivated by competition to do whatever it takes to stay in business. So even if they want to be green, they have to keep wrecking the environment just to avoid going out of business, basically.”