Wednesday 28 November saw young people from across Canberra walk out of school to call for real climate action to protect our future. They are joining almost 30 strikes across Australia this week. This strike made history because never before have students in Australia gone on strike from school to demand urgent climate action.
This strike was inspired by 15-year old Greta in Sweden, who refused to go to school to protest the inaction on climate change. Her story was picked up by a group of year 8 students in rural Victoria and now students all across Australia are taking part in strikes across the country.
Hundreds of school students lined up outside Parliament House on Wednesday to protest climate change. The students waited in the rain outside parliament for a couple of hours before being let in.
Students were met by parliamentarians, including Labor MPs Lisa Owens and Ged Kearney, and Centre Alliance MP, Rebekha Sharkie. They were publicly congratulated by federal Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, and invited to Wayne Swan MP’s office to present their policy positions.
They weren’t given the opportunity to speak to Scott Morrison and government ministers about taking emergency action against climate change. Instead, they wrote messages to our political leaders, urging them to take action on climate change.
This comes after the prime minister told students to be less activist and go back to school. On Tuesday, however, the Senate approved a motion to support the students in their decision to strike from school and hold a series of planned national protests. Students across the country have left school this week, with protests also happening in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Hobart today.
This youth activism creates a strong sense of hope: Australian students are building a powerful movement that is putting pressure on our politicians to do what it takes to stop the climate crisis and protect our futures. It represents the beginning of a new age of activism from Australia’s youth who are sick of not having their voices heard.
Click on the links below to hear some of the students’ messages:
- Interview 1 – Action now (22seconds)
- Interview 2 – why climate change matters (46seconds)
- Julie Owens MP and Rebekha Sharkey MP speak to the kids (12seconds)