Contributed by Ben Wilson
Hundreds of school students around the country are expected to take part in a strike on 28,29 and 30 November.
A prominent environment organisation, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, is erncouraging participation.
The idea for the strike originally came from the Castlemaine (Victoria) students, who have already been protesting outside the offices of their local representatives and built a core group of a bout 50 local students.
This is now becoming a nationwide movement, as more young people around Australia get involved.
They are deeply concerned about global warming, and what they see as the failure of politicians to date, to do enough about it. They want urgent action about what they say is a climate emergency.
By taking part they are learning how to organise, building a social media network, and therefore, becoming a voice to be heard.
Fourteen-year-old Fort Street high school student, Jean Hinchliffe from Sydney said,
“We’ve got involved because at this stage we can’t vote, we’re not politicians and we want to make a difference,” she said. “We can’t stand around waiting.
“I think it’s because climate change is scary seeing that it’s our future. This is a fact and not to be debated.”
Fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish student, who has been sitting outside the parliament in central Stockholm to draw attention to the fears younger generations hold about the global climate crisis and the failure of countries to take urgent action, has been a major inspiration, and Australian students are now in regular contact with her.
Some schools, like Bendigo High School last week, have already had walkouts.
It must be remembered, these young people face considerable pressure not to do what they are doing. That they are prepared to push on anyway, indicates the strength of their resolve. They know that they are the ones who will inherit the legacy of what the present older generation does.
In discovering their own voice and using it, they set a good example for all of us.