While the Westminster bubble falls over itself on Brexit, kids are showing us the real crisis

Kids with placards on climate strike
Emily Apple

It’s been another week of Brexit chaos. But as the Westminster bubble falls over itself reporting on the latest parliamentary defeat for Theresa May, school children are preparing to let the country know about the real crisis facing all of us: climate chaos.

On 15 March, children across the UK are going on strike for the second time to highlight the lack of action on climate change. According to a press release from Youth Strike 4 Climate:

Those taking part in the action are demanding that the government declares a state of climate emergency and communicates the severity of the ecological crisis to the general public. Additionally, campaigners want the curriculum reformed to address climate change as an educational priority, alongside including youth voices in policy making and lowering the voting age to 16.

Global climate strike

Students from Aberdeen to Penzance are joining the global climate strike. In 100 towns and cities across the UK, children will walk out of school and take to the streets to demand action.

But the strike isn’t just taking place in the UK. Young people in 105 countries are expected to take part in protests across 1659 towns and cities.

The school strikes were started by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish student who went on strike outside the parliament building in Stockholm in August 2018. She handed out leaflets which read:

I am doing this because you adults are shitting on my future.

Since then, Thunberg has become a global climate leader. And on 13 March, Thunberg was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her work.

17-year-old Noga Levy-Rapoport from the UK Student Climate Network highlighted the importance of the global action:

Over the previous months, young people have shown their ability to act in solidarity with one another across borders and international boundaries. We’re unified in our common struggle to avert climate breakdown and call on governments to address the climate crisis. We’re proving every day that the world’s youth are dynamic, resilient and creative, and governments could learn a lot from our movement.

Angry and betrayed

Co-founder of the UK Student Climate Network, 17-year-old Anna Taylor, spoke of the ‘anger’ and ‘betrayal’ young people feel about climate change:

Young people in the UK have shown that we’re angry at the lack of government leadership on climate change. Those in power are not only betraying us, and taking away our future, but are responsible for the climate crisis that’s unfolding in horrendous ways around the world.

Taylor also stressed the importance of those in the UK acting in solidarity with those already feeling the impact of climate change:

The UK has been relatively shielded from the effects of the crisis so far, but those least responsible for contributing to climate change are already suffering the worst effects.

And Taylor is clear that climate justice means we all need to take action:

It is our duty to not only act for those in the UK and our futures, but for everyone. That’s what climate justice means.

Featured image via Fréa Lockley

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