On 15 March, children around the world marched out of school to demand their voices are heard about the growing climate chaos that we all face. Under the banner of #ClimateStrike and Strike4Climate, these young people are a powerful force.
“Let’s change history”
Swedish 16-year-old Greta Thunberg has inspired children around the world. She’s been on strike, leaving school every Friday, since August 2018, to “urge leaders to do more to tackle climate change”. Now, the movement has grown globally, and on 15 March, children around the world marched out of school to share their rage and demand that governments and leaders take urgent action.
So as Thunberg said, “Let’s change history”:
Tomorrow we school strike for the climate in 1769 places in 112 countries around the world. And counting.
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) March 14, 2019
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A map showed just how huge this movement has grown in less than a year:
That is the current map of #schoolstrike4climate planned around the world for this Friday! https://t.co/SpV13s6AGM I wonder: Has there ever been such widespread protest action in human history? #FridaysForFuture pic.twitter.com/ddedrzFqff
— Stefan Rahmstorf (@rahmstorf) March 13, 2019
Adults, governments and leaders around the world need to listen. Because as Thunberg noted, kids marched out of school in “2052 places in 123 countries on all continents”:
Latest update say:
2052 places in 123 countries on all continents, including Antarctica.
So, the question is:
What will you do on March 15 2019? https://t.co/ROmtFMrj6Y#schoolstrike4climate #FridaysForFurture #climatestrike #WhateverItTakes
(picture from Sydney today) pic.twitter.com/oFr6IryCnk
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) March 15, 2019
This action is the second in the UK, following a strike on 15 February.
In London, early reports indicated that the Metropolitan police tried to shut down the protest:
MET police are already trying to shut down peaceful protest. We are not being allowed to set up amplified sound. Student voices need to be heard. Help us make this happen @SadiqKhan @theresa_may @michaelgove @jeremycorbyn
— YouthStrike4Climate (@Strike4Youth) March 15, 2019
But, children took a “spontaneous route” and took “police by surprise” as they marched towards Buckingham Palace. As the Guardian reported:
Officers scrambled to prevent the youngsters, who were chanting “we want change”, reaching the Queen’s residence but the crowd was too big.
— UKYCC (@ukycc) March 15, 2019
Later, they “blocked all the roads leading onto Trafalgar Square, bringing widespread disruption to central London”.
If I was to guess I'd say up to 15/20 thousand children are here in Parliamant square already and many many more are pouring in from the tubes and across the bridges.
— Matthew Butcher (@matthew1butcher) March 15, 2019
Children left school around the UK, from West Cornwall:
— Emily Apple (@emilyapple) March 15, 2019
To Brighton, where they chanted “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn”:
— Callum Cant (@CallumCant1) March 15, 2019
They also marched in Scotland:
— Scot Communities CAN (@ScotCCAN) March 15, 2019
Hundreds of thousands of school kids will walk out of class today and take to the streets demanding urgent climate action 👏👏
— Friends of the Earth Scotland 🌎 (@FoEScot) March 15, 2019
And in Wales:
— carly reagon (@carlyreagon) March 15, 2019
Hands around the world
What is so incredible about this movement is the unity and solidarity shown by young people globally. On one day and across different time zones, they marched with a powerful message:
Nepalese Youth for Climate Action in support to Global Strike for Future.
March 15 at Maitighar Mandala#Youth4Climate #StrikeGlobalforFuture#FridaysForFuture #ClimateStrike #theguardian #HimalayanTimes#KantipurPost pic.twitter.com/QeAJDyGknd
— NYCA nepal (@NYCAnepal) March 15, 2019
Respect! These students from Bukidnon, Philippines took a 12-km mountain-terrain walk to converge with more students in the province and join the global #schoolstrike4climate ✊🏽#climatestrike #youthstrike4climate #FridaysForFurture pic.twitter.com/ugpxthpDrb
— 350 dot org (@350) March 15, 2019
South Africa! We See You!!! Young people are rising in 2052 places in 123 countries on every continents.
— Mike Hudema (@MikeHudema) March 15, 2019
Are you listening?
In the UK opposition leaders and MPs showed solidarity with these young people.
It’s past time all of us stopped looking the other way, learn from the passion and wisdom of young people and join them in actively organising for a better future.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) March 15, 2019
Meanwhile, Green MP Caroline Lucas urged the children to continue:
World leaders are starting to sit up and pay attention – but don't let them fob you off with greenwash.
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) March 15, 2019
And congressperson Ilhan Omar offered similar support in the US:
I’m answering that demand Secretary, and will be standing with them at tomorrow’s march! I hope our country and congress will answer their demand as well. https://t.co/Qqtkrw6W2D
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 14, 2019
The UK government and leaders around the world can’t ignore the powerful force of these children. Their voices and actions are growing stronger day by day. As they must. Because time is running out.
Featured image via Flickr/Julian Meehan
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