Students are striking around the world to protest against the lack of action to stop global warming

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

A survey of the press by CPNN

Students are striking around the world to join with the Swedish girl Greta Thunberg who sat outside the Swedish parliament last year to protest against the lack of action to stop global warming. Now, up to 70,000 schoolchildren each week hold protests in 270 towns and cities worldwide.


student strike in UK

In the UK, according to the Guardian on February 15, thousands of schoolchildren and young people joined a UK-wide climate strike amid growing anger at the failure of politicians to tackle the escalating ecological crisis. Organisers said more than 10,000 young people in at least 60 towns and cities joined the strike. They estimated around 3,000 schoolchildren and young people gathered in London, with 2,000 in Oxford, 1,000 each in Exeter and Leeds and several hundred in Brighton, Bristol, Sheffield and Glasgow (see video below).

In Switzerland, according to Euronews thousands of students, some as young as 14-years-old, took to the streets of several Swiss cities on Friday [January 18] to denounce the lack of government action to fight global warming.

In the Netherlands, also according to Euronews, thousands of Dutch students skipped their classes on Thursday, February 7, to join a demonstration in The Hague calling for greater action on climate change. Kim van Sparrentak,a 29-year-old student, who is running in the European Parliament elections this year, told Euronews’ The Cube why people like her had been inspired to protest. “This is really the climate generation we are talking about here. This generation is now on the streets to start protesting and to show that they want a different world, a better world and a future for themselves.”

In Belgium, according to Forbes Magazine on February 7, high school students have managed to grind traffic in Belgian cities to a halt over the past month, staging repeated walk-outs from class in protest of adults’ inaction on climate change. The demonstrations saw 35,000 children and young people take to the streets two weeks ago. But this week, their protests caused something much bigger than snarled traffic – they forced the resignation of Joke Schauvliege, the Flemish climate minister.

Deutsche Welle describes the actions of students in Germany: “It’s a cold January morning in front of Cologne Central Station. As people stream out of the main entrance, it’s noticeable that there are quite a few teenagers. Strange, considering it’s a school day. Most of them have come in small groups, while others hang out in the main square outside of the station with friends. Many have brought homemade cardboard signs with them bearing painted-on slogans such as “We are here, we are loud, because you are stealing the future from us,” and “We do not learn for a ruined future.” At the same time, a separate climate protest is taking place in the nearby city of Bonn, where young people marched up to the UN Campus to demand that their voices be heard. Students ditching class to protest . . . has become a common scene in many large cities — students eschewing lessons at school to protest for climate protection.”

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Despite the vested interests of companies and governments, Can we make progress toward sustainable development?

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In France, according to France 24, several hundred high school and university students skipped class to demonstrate in front of the French ministry for the environment in Paris. At the heart of the demonstration is a deep disappointment with France’s failure to fulfill its commitments under various climate agreements. The protesters aren’t buying rhetoric about stimulating the economy. “We want climate change to be taken into account. Of course the economy is important and makes a country prosper. But to have a country, you need a planet. And if we destroy it, there won’t be an economy at all,” said Zelia, a high schooler. The demonstration in Paris on Friday, February 15 had a relatively modest turnout of 300 to 400 students, but they are getting organised quickly. Students have pledged to join their peers around Europe in weekly demonstrations leading up to March 15, when Thunberg has called for a global strike.

In Canada, according to the Montreal Gazette, students in Quebec are now taking matters into their own hands in the battle against climate change. A coalition of groups from universities came together Friday, February 8, to launch a call to action under the banner “La planète s’invite à l’université.” Small collectives from Université du Québec à Montréal, Université de Montréal and École de technologie supérieure launched the joint appeal, and are inviting students from across Quebec to join them for a provincewide climate strike on March 15. It would be followed by a second strike day on Sept. 17, and it’s all part of an international mobilization of young people demanding drastic action from their governments.

In Australia, according to the News, school students striking for climate change want adults to join them for a global event on March 15, and organisers say they already have support from a growing number of unions, including the National Union of Workers, National Tertiary Education Union, United Firefighters Union, Hospo Voice, the Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association and the National Union of Students. The National Union of Workers, one of the most powerful unions in the Labor Party and part of its right-wing faction that supports Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, said it was supporting the strike and the students standing together collectively for their future. “They are inspiring leaders, and we support them in making our political leaders listen,” the union said.

In Austria, as reported on February 17 by Metropole, Viennese students launched their KlimaStreik last December but have been gaining more momentum recently, with last Friday’s (Feb 8) strike attracting around 150 participants at Heldenplatz and receiving media coverage. Local schools have worked closely with FridaysForFuture to ensure students do not get in trouble for skipping class, with some even sending teachers along and incorporating the protests into their “Political Education” curriculum.

In the United States, US Youth Climate Strike have issued a
press advisory
announcing that they will partiipate in a global day of climate ation on March 15 in all state capitals as well as the US Capitol. “We are US Youth Climate Strike, a collective movement of youth in the United States who are fighting for the conservation of our planet. We are joining the movement “Fridays for Future”, sparked by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and her weekly Friday “school strikes for climate in front of the Swedish Parliament, and thereby bringing the movement to the United States.”

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