Tens of thousands of students have walked out of classes to protest climate change in a global strike, condemning government inaction on the matter.
Organized by activists at numerous locations, the demonstrations primarily saw school students walking out of classes, joined by adult climate activists.
— Joel🌲 (@JoelReidWylie) March 15, 2019
"Police tried to close the entrance to The Mall leading to Buckingham Palace but they just keep on coming… #ExtinctionRebellion #climatestrike #schoolstrike4climate", @LdnRebellion.#YouthStrike4Climate #FridaysForFuture @Strike4Youth @UKSCN1 @ukyccpic.twitter.com/kmfmj5YSdR
— Extinction Rebellion ⌛️ (@ExtinctionR) March 15, 2019
The protesters poured into the streets of European capitals, as well as other cities.
They displayed assorted banners and placards, featuring such slogans as “Oceans are rising, so are we,” the infamous phrase “There’s no planet B” and so on.
Young activists insisted that the adults – and politicians in particular – needed some education on climate change issues, thus skipping school was needed for them to be heard.
The US, which has walked away from the Paris agreement on climate change thanks to President Donald Trump – prominent climate change denier himself – was not spared by the young demonstrators either.
WEEK 14 of my @UN #ClimateStrike in NYC. Today, we demonstrated to our world leaders what will happen if they don't urgently address climate change! Look out America, #SchoolsStrike4Climate is here! @GretaThunberg pic.twitter.com/pUR3DOxfPl
— Alexandria Villasenor (@AlexandriaV2005) March 15, 2019
The school student strike movement started last year when 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg began skipping school on Fridays to protest climate change outside the country’s parliament. Thunberg’s activities have attracted supporters across the globe and fetched the girl a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Thunberg appeared at the rally in Stockholm and addressed fellow activists.
“We have only been born into this world, we are going to have to live with this crisis our whole lives. So will our children and grandchildren and coming generations,” Thunberg said. “We are not going to accept this. We are striking because we want a future and we are going to carry on.”
In some countries the politicians were not eager to get schooled, blasting the young protesters for skipping classes.
“For action on issues that they think is important, they should do that after school or on weekends,” Australia’s Education Minister Dan Tehan told reporters. The students, however, apparently didn’t pay much attention to the minister’s words and showed up to the demonstrations en-masse.
Tehan’s rant was not taken lightly, with both activists and fellow politicians blasting him for “hypocrisy” and criticizing his own poor attendance record in Parliament.
In contrast, officials of neighboring New Zealand endorsed the protesters, with the country’s PM Jacinda Ardern stating that the youth should not wait for voting age to be heard. Aside from that, she pledged NZ$100 million (some USD$68 million) to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. The climate activists have protested in about 100 different locations in the country, which was left shaken by Friday’s gruesome mosque attacks.