Contributed by Joe Montero
When on Friday 30 November, big numbers of Australia’s school kids didn’t turn up for class and tens of thousands of them marched in the streets of 30 cities and regional centres, demanding the politicians act on climate change, it sent a shock wave through the corridors of power.
Life for the big polluters and those who cover for them has bee made that much more difficult.
The government is acutely aware of the implications of the young turning against it. This is why prime minister Scott Morrison came out and patronisingly spriuked that kids should be at school and not protesting. By doing this, of course, he inadvertently made sure the effect was the opposite to what he intended. The word got around, went down the wrong way, and made sure more took part than may otherwise have.
Although the strike was initiated by students at Castlemaine in Victoria, the organisational force was provided by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, which has an incredible 150,000 members. Many more than any political party. But it was the school students from primary and secondary schools that did the work to pull it off.
So many taking part suggests that this age group as a whole, cares deeply about the issue, and this is creating a new generation of activists.
Morrison’s inept display took place, because the spread and strength of the passion coming from Australia’s school kids has caught him and his people by surprise, and because the crisis ridden government heading for an election, is increasingly reacting in panic mode, rather than a worked out strategy.
Kids walking out and protesting in such numbers has a longer term and more serious implication. They are the future and what they are doing is an indication of a seismic shift in generational political attitudes. a sign of what is coming.
Video from 7 News
Years of failure to address the question in an appropriate way, has done a lot to build resentment and put the present government on the nose. Climate warming is not the only issue. It is important. At the same time, in the bigger picture, this is mingled with an overall growing distrust of politicians across society, with perceptions of rampant corruption, the stranglehold of government and society in the hands of the corporate world and growing unfairness. The young are affected by this as well. They don’t trust politicians to do the right thing either, and this is breading a new generation of activists.
Australia’s kids want decisive action on climate change. They hold that the government is not only not acting. They destroying the future of the rising and coming generations as well. They know that they are the ones who will ultimately pay the price and don’t like it one bit.
Anyone who witnessed the turnout in the streets could not help but feel the passion. Bystanders were stunned by what they were witnessing. Even big media had to admit something big is going on.
Passion over the threat of global warming is extending towards calling for an end to the stranglehold of big business over Australian politics and society, especially to the political establishment’s bowing before the fossil fuels industry. Failure to stop the Adani mine and rail link in Queensland got special attention. This message was load and clear.
Kids want a society and economy that is for people, and not just to fatten the bottom line t for the few at the top. The better be listened to – or else.