May 18 — Hundreds of New Jersey high school students from Bergen and Hudson counties rallied and marched today in Ridgefield to protest the construction of the North Bergen Liberty Generating Station in neighboring North Bergen by the Japanese multinational Mitsubishi.
The estimated cost of the plant is $1.5 billion. The amount of greenhouse gases and particulate matter that would be emitted from the plant into the air of adjacent communities would be enormous. Large numbers of Korean and Latinx people live in these communities.
The action was organized with the help of Food & Water Watch and the Sierra Club. Endorsers included the Bergen County Audubon Society, Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War and Veterans For Peace. The featured speaker at the rally was the anti-capitalist investigative author Prof. Naomi Klein of Rutgers University.
But it was the high school students who gave most of the talks at the rally, and they gave them in three languages: Korean, Spanish and English.
“Today we live in a world where we have to fight for the privilege to breathe clean air. No amount of money is worth risking our lungs and our health,” said Yoon Yung Kim.
“I am committed to protesting and marching until this project is finally rejected,” added Arturo Garcia.
The action highlighted the growing activism of high school students — especially around environmental issues.