“You destroy our future” : from Australia to Europe via Uganda, tens of thousands of young people around the world have skipped school on Friday to ask their leaders to act against climate disruption.
“Act now or swim”, read it on a sign, in Wellington, the capital of new zealand, where hundreds of high school students and students launched the day. In Christchurch also, young people marched past when the city was hit by shootings in two mosques, forcing the police to cordon off the city centre.
“123 country!” tweeted the young Swedish Greta Thunberg, one of the icons of the movement with his strike weekly of the school.
“We make strike to tell our governments to do their homework and show us the evidence!” says the appeal published on Facebook. Evidence that the world takes action to limit warming to +2°C relative to pre-industrial times, as provided for by the Paris Agreement.
Appointment was given in more than 2,000 places, according to the website of the movement, FridaysforFuture, with Italy, France and Germany lead the pack.
Friday, Greta Thunberg reported on Twitter images of processions in Japan, to Helsinki, Venice, Luxembourg, or, more modest, in Vanuatu.
In Bangkok and Hong Kong, thousands of young people have also parade. “If you don’t act like adults, we’ll do it”, were chanting-they.
“My eyes are suffering from the pollution,” said Shagun Kumari, 13 years old, at Delhi (about 200 participants). “I want a tune that does not affect my lungs.”
– “A world in ruins” –
In Sydney, Charles Rickwood, 18, pointed to the danger faced by the Great Barrier reef: “If the trend continues, we will have a rise of 1°or 2 ° C in the ocean, it will become unsustainable”.
Approximately 500 young Mauritians marched to Port Louis, chanting “the planet heats up, the youth rises”. In Warsaw, it is the ministry of Energy has finished the walk in around 2,000 young protesters. In Bratislava, they were a thousand. Many German cities were affected, with thousands of participants, including in Berlin and Munich.
“Vultures of profit is destroying our Earth,” “grandfather, what is a snowman?”, “I believe more in unicorns than in the willingness of politicians”, said the panels made by the germans.
Ditto London, with several thousand young people massed in front of Buckingham palace after a spell in Downing street.
At Paris, a hundred young people have been blocked for three hours the entrance to the headquarters of the Society in General, denouncing its funding of projects harmful.
In Uganda, in Kampala, many students have made the strike in school to show, describing the resurgence of landslides and flash floods in the country.
“The temperatures have climbed, unable to concentrate in class,” said Warlda Mirembe, 16 years of age, came with his father, a farmer and merchant. “My awareness date of the flooding of the school after heavy rains. I love my country, it is called the pearl of Africa, but it is in the process of destroying”.
“The leaders of today will grow old and die, and leave behind them a world in ruins,” laments Sadrach Mirere, a student, who coordinates the Fridays For the Future Uganda.
Greta Thunberg made himself known by holding up only every Friday a sign reading “strike of the school for the climate” in front of the Parliament in Stockholm. Little by little, the action has been oil spot in several countries, thousands of young people descending on the streets, in Belgium or in Germany.
– “Living with” –
On Friday morning, Greta, who was nominated for the Nobel peace prize 2019, was back in front of the Swedish Parliament with several hundreds of young strikers at his sides. “We have to be born in the world, this crisis we will have to live with it, and our children and our grandchildren and future generations. We do not accept”, she warned.
The initiative, however, is not to the liking of some policies, such as the australian minister of Education Dan Tehan: “This is not something that we should encourage”, he said on the radio. “Events outside of the course schedules have also the meaning”, said the German Economy minister Peter Altmaier.
The strikers, in contrast, have received support, such as the First minister of new zealand Jacinda Ardern. “Don’t underestimate the power of your voice”, says labour’s 38-year-old students this week in Parliament.
Several mayors of the alliance C40 large cities climate, such as Paris and Milan, have also expressed their encouragement.
The international community is committed to keep the world under 2°C, but emissions of greenhouse gas from the first of the fossil fuels, continue to rise, placing the planet on a trajectory of more than 3°C carrier of the major impacts.
The mobilization of the youth is part of a citizen’s movement broader, including actions of civil disobedience, a boom of legal action and protests, such as those planned throughout France on Saturday.