Worldwide students’ strikes against climate change


This 14 November 2018 video says about itself:

Climate Strike: Heeding Call of Greta Thunberg, Polish Students Walk Out of Class

Fifteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has called for a global climate strike today to protest inaction at the U.N. climate summit. Greta made international headlines after she refused to go to school in August and began a School Strike for Climate. Greta made the call for today’s strike in a video posted on Twitter.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Schülerstreik and Fridays for Future: young people play truant for the climate

Tomorrow, organizers hope to have a climate protest with thousands of students at the Malieveld in The Hague.

Although in the Netherlands, in particular, people look at the passion about the climate of which has suddenly flared up in Belgium, in recent times young people worldwide have been on strike for a better climate. They interrupted their school day in Germany, Australia and Switzerland. An overview.

The Greta effect

First, their joint inspiration: the 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg from Sweden. She is now an icon for young people around the world.

As a little girl, Greta was already worried about the greenhouse effect and did not understand why adults were barely mentioning it. Inspired by demonstrations by US American students against the use of firearms, she tried to persuade classmates to go on strike for the climate.

But when nobody wanted to participate, she decided to take action herself: three weeks before the Swedish elections in September she stood demonstratively in front of the parliament building. With her school bag and a piece of cardboard, with the text ‘School strike for the climate’. …

Greta Thunberg, SVT photo

The biggest demonstration in Scandinavia was last Friday, on 1 February. Then students went on strike in different cities in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and even Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

Greta Thunberg stayed in front of the parliament every day during school hours, until the Swedish elections. After that she was only allowed to demonstrate by her parents on Fridays – and she still does. She gave speeches during the climate summit in Poland and at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Now she is considering to take a one-year break from school and to be occupied full-time with climate activism.

Australia

At the end of November Down Under, thousands of students were leaving their classes to demand action from the government.

The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, had urged children earlier that week not to participate in the actions and to go to school to learn. “We also learn from this action, even though it is during school time!” was their response. “We can not stay silent until we are old enough to vote.”

One of the organizers was 14-year-old Harriet O’Shea. In a letter to The Guardian, Harriet tells that she lives in the countryside of Victoria, and has seen in her life the effects of drought, forest fires and extreme weather on society. “We were evacuated once when a forest fire came to our town, which was scary, but it is something that will happen more and more often.”

The young people promised to continue demonstrating until something would change in Australia. …

Germany

Greta Thunberg also inspired a lot of students in Germany. “It started with tufts of high school students and university students who canceled their classes on Friday”, says correspondent Judith van de Hulsbeek. “But last week, tens of thousands of students went out on the streets all over Germany on Friday.” Schwänzen, truancy in German, for the climate.

One of the faces of the Schülerstreik is Jakob Blasel (18) from the North German town Kiel. He endorses Thunberg’s motto – ‘Why learn, if there is no future?’ – with full conviction. “As a speaker at the German Fridays for Future he was already in one of the most famous talk shows in Germany”, says Van de Hulsbeek. “And he ended up in the office of the Minister of Economic Affairs, on the day that there was an important consultation on the closure of coal-fired power stations.”

On that day, thousands of students were in front of the Ministry in Berlin. They demand the fastest possible closure of the coal-fired power plants. …

Switzerland

Slightly more to the south, in Switzerland, tens of thousands of teenagers also skipped school for the climate. In December for the first time, the last two weeks again. …

The young people first demonstrated on Fridays and skipped their lessons. Last week they gathered on Saturday – so they could go to school the rest of the week.

United States

The Youth Climate Strike also includes students on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Take 13-year-old Alexandria Villasenor from New York. Inspired by young Thunberg she trudges every Friday to protest at the headquarters of the United Nations. She wants to organize a national strike with a group of environmental organizations on 15 March. “It is still unclear how many students want to participate and how the boards of those schools will respond,” says correspondent Wouter Zwart.

Demonstrating for a better climate is not new in the United States. Especially in the past two years the number of protests has increased. “It is a clear reaction to President Trump, who is rapidly reversing the climate measures that his predecessor Obama had introduced,” says Zwart. “The fact that America has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement has caused bad blood among environmentally conscious young people.”

The rest of Europe

… In the United Kingdom a Youth Strike 4 Climate will be organized on 15 February. … “There were previous strikes by students, but that was rather small-scale.”

One of those students was 13-year-old Holly Gillibrand. The Scottish girl has been organizing her own ‘strike week’ for four weeks in a row. And in Dublin, hundreds of young people gathered in January at the Irish parliament building for the Children’s Rally for Climate Action.

In France, most students remained in school, but an online petition demanding action from the government on the climate has been signed more than 2.1 million times. In Italy it is mainly small groups of students who, inspired by the Swedish Thunberg, protest for a better climate.

The article mentions that in Thailand there is a call to protest as well.

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