CLIMATE STRIKE: 20th September

Sitting alone outside the Swedish parliament in early 2018, with a homemade cardboard sign, I doubt Greta Thunberg could have imagined that within the she would have inspired tens of thousands of school students around the world to strike with her.   

The https://www.schoolstrike4climate.com/ was ignited by Greta’s singular act of protest. Since then, it has grown exponentially. Greta has spoken at the UN, skype called with members of the US congress, and blasted world leaders who she says have been “behaving like children.” The rallies that have been largely organised by students themselves have seen coordinated action by millions of young people in hundreds of counties throughout the world.

Greta’s message is one of urgency and anxiety – we are in the midst of a climate crisis, and nothing is being done. As she puts it, “I want you to panic.”

Here in Australia, the School Strikes have been huge. In March of this year, 150,000 people marched in Australia and 1.5 million took part worldwide. Organised by students, marching in their uniforms, they sent a clear, strong message that many young people feel frustrated and worried by what they call a lack of climate action from those in power. They’re expecting even bigger numbers for the strike on Friday this week, as they encourage students and workers to come together to protest for the planet.  

 

Last week, the Seaside Scavenge attended a sign writing workshop at Reverse Garbage in Marrickville, Sydney (one of our favourite re-use & re-cycle hubs!). A sunny Saturday afternoon saw students and adults alike – the youngest at just 4 years old - gather to paint signs using found and upcycled materials. Slogans were flying and veritable art was created. We chatted to a few of the students planning on attending the Strike, and while they were all deeply concerned about climate change, they also expressed feeling hopeful and excited by the marches. Being able to make their voices heard, on such an incredible scale, helped to temper Greta’s ‘panic’ with an even more galvanising optimism.

Check out some of the photos from the workshop for some sign ideas of your own, and if you can attend the strike this Friday the 20th September, check out the Strike for Climate website to find a march near you. https://www.schoolstrike4climate.com/. Here’s where it’s going down in the capital cities;

 

• Sydney 12 noon – The Domain

• Melbourne 2pm – Treasury Gardens

• Brisbane 1pm – Queens Gardens

• Canberra 12 noon –Glebe Park

• Adelaide 12 noon – Victoria Square

• Darwin 1pm – Parliament

• Perth 11am – Forrest Place

• Hobart 12 pm – Parliament

 

An urgent call to action from a sixteen-year-old activist has become a rallying cry for an invigorated environmental movement driven by young people. It is however, a reality check. Young people are shouldering the burden of care taking for the future – a burden that conventional wisdom tells us should be in the hands of adults in positions of influence and power. That our young people are standing up and telling us that we’re not doing good enough is alarming as much as it is moving. The School Strike for Climate is a powerful force for change. See you there!

 

 Article written by Ainsley Halbmeijer