Climate strike: School students from over 120 countries march to 'change history'

Posted March 16, 2019

An estimated 150,000 students and teachers in more than 60 cities and towns across Australia ditched school to rally against climate change in the School Strike 4 Climate march.

"I think we are only seeing the beginning".

"I think it's unbelievable to see that hundreds of thousands of children all around the world are realising that we are facing an existential climate crisis and are fighting for their future, making their voices heard, and saying why should we go to school and study for a future that may not exist anymore".

High school students around the county rallied Friday to call on local officials to support a Green New Deal to mitigate the effects of climate change.

University students congregate on campus before they leave
University students congregate on campus before they leave

"Why would we go to school if there's going to be no future for us to live in?" said Althea Wilson, a high school junior from the Boulder area.

"And you know who you are, you that have ignored this", she said.

Greta Thunberg, in August a year ago, became the face of a "school strike" outside the Swedish parliament building.

As part of the #FridaysForFuture movement headed by the activist, tens of thousands of young people around the world will be skipping school this Friday to march for change.

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Rachel Gurevich, a 14-year-old student at East Brunswick's Churchill Junior High and one of the organizers of the Morristown strike, said she was hopeful that the global protests would push policymakers to take action. "The oceans are rising, so are we", read another in Sydney. By December, more than 20,000 students had taken on Thunberg's mantle, striking in at least 270 cities.

Since then, the weekly protests have snowballed from a handful of cities to hundreds, driven by social media-savvy students and dramatic headlines about the impact of climate change.

National politicians and some university professors can nominate candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize.

At a rally in Stockholm on Friday, Thunberg said the world faces an "existential crisis, the biggest crisis humanity ever has faced and still it has been ignored for decades by those that have known about it". Campaigners have judged that insufficient action has been taken since the report came out.

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"The clock is ticking and time is against us!" they shouted.

French education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, has so far responded by saying that he would like to organise debates on climate change and environmental issues in every French lycée.

"We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change it will be the cause of wars, conflict and refugees", Norwegian lawmaker Freddy André Øvstegård told Norwegian news outlet VG.

The group is also chanting: "You should be embarrassed that we pulled out of of Paris", a reference to President Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. "You get the feeling of this isn't okay - we can't sit and do nothing".

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Thousands attended Nelson climate change protests on the Cathedral steps.