Youth Strikes 4 Climate: The young Activists Who Are Planning to Shake The World

Youth Strikes 4 Climate The young Activists Who Are Planning to Shake The World.jpg

Youth culture is said to be defined by its movements – from Rock Against Racism in 1970s Britain to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that have swept through the US. And now, teenagers around the world are channelling their anger at the climate crisis and demanding politicians tackle global warming.

Last month, more than 10,000 pupils across the UK sought their parents’ permission and left classrooms in Glasgow, Leeds, Exeter, London and Brighton to join UK-wide climate strikes. Armed with homemade placards, many of these young activists donned their school coats and travelled with their parents to ensure their voices were heard and anger was felt.

More than 40,000 people braved miserable conditions in Amsterdam on Sunday to protest against the Dutch government’s action over climate change, organisers said. Coordinated protests have taken place in Australia, Switzerland, Germany, the US, Canada and Japan.

‘Injustice’

In an open letter, youth activists behind the climate protests told decision-makers they are “going to change the fate of humanity, whether you like it or not.

“Our generation grew up with the climate crisis and we will have to deal with it for the rest of our lives. Despite that fact, most of us are not included in the local and global decision-making process.

“We will no longer accept this injustice. The youth of this world has started to move and we will not rest again.”

The movement was kickstarted last summer by a 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl, Greta Thunberg. She says that her protest was sparked by the record heatwave in northern Europe, which triggered forest fires that wiped out large areas of land in her country.

‘Inspired’

The teenager says her activism was inspired by the students of Parkland school in Florida. They staged a mass walkout in protest at US gun control laws after 17 students and staff were shot dead on campus in February 2018.

“The first day, I sat alone from about 8.30am to 3pm. And then on the second day, people started joining me. After that, there were people there all the time,” Thunberg told The Guardian.

The teenager has vowed to protest outside parliament every Friday until the Swedish government aligns its policies with the Paris climate agreement.

‘Global action’

And this week the campaigning that she started will culminate in the biggest strike day to date. On Friday, up to 500,000 youngsters in 51 countries will skip school for the “global day of action”. More than 60 UK towns and cities are expected to take part in the ‘Youth Strikes 4 Climate’ event.

“I think we are only seeing the beginning,” says Thunberg, “I think that change is on the horizon and the people will stand up for their future.”

Culled from iNews

Florence Williams