The youth climate strike movement is about to hit the UK big time. On 15 February, young people in at least thirty towns across the UK will be walking out of lessons to demand immediate government action on the climate crisis. From Belfast to Brighton, Fort William to Cardiff, the movement of young people in the UK demanding climate justice is growing rapidly.
Some young people in the UK are ahead of the curve:
Our 8th #schollstrike4climate at Ullapool High School this moning. UK wide strike planned for next Friday 15 Feb. Come out and support us kids ! @GretaThunberg @klondyker @HollyWildChild @patrickharvie @ChrisGPackham @HighlandCouncil @Strike4Youth @XRHighlands @ScotParl pic.twitter.com/VF8e5SVdcz
— UllapoolSharkAmbassador (@FinlayPringle) February 8, 2019
— Holly Gillibrand (@HollyWildChild) February 8, 2019
— Extinction Rebellion Scotland (@ScotlandXr) February 8, 2019
First one, now thousands
The idea of striking from school to demand action on climate change came from 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.
The adults strike back
The strikes haven’t always gone down well with adults. Strikes have been particularly large in Belgium, where tens of thousands of students have walked out of classes. The country’s environment minister, Joke Schauvliege, was forced to resign after claiming that the young people on strike were being “set up” by powers she declined to name.
What we want is more learning in schools and less activism.
There was only one possible response to that, and somebody put it on a placard:
— Ira Snave (@IraSnave) November 30, 2018
Undeterred by adults
Ultimately, the crisis is so urgent that young people are undeterred by adults who wish they’d shut up and stay in school:
“I just got flipped off!” #climatestrike #fridaysforfuture #SchoolStrike4Climate @GretaThunberg @AlexandriaV2005 @israhirsi @zaynecowie @releaf4us @ClimateHuman I’m finding my strength one strike at a time. Haters gonna hate. I laugh back. 🤣 pic.twitter.com/KEXUt0Yf5V
— Haven Coleman (@havenruthie) February 8, 2019
I don’t mind. The mass extinction of the earth compared to one day of school.
Every reason to walk out
Last year, Green MP Caroline Lucas warned that government decisions on expanding Heathrow, and cancelling a planned tidal lagoon renewable energy project, had “taken a wrecking ball to the UK’s climate policies”. Young people have every reason to walk out of school to demand a liveable future. And with a global strike planned for 15 March, it doesn’t look as if they’re going shut up anytime soon.
Featured image via Olia Balabina/Flickr
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