‘Strike 4 Climate Action’ brings thousands of students together in defiance of prime minister’s warning
Fri 30 Nov 2018
The best banners from the strike day
Thousands of schoolchildren across Australia walked out of class on Fridayto demand action by the federal government on climate change.
The “Strike 4 Climate Action”, inspired by 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, brought together children in capital cities and 20 regional centres such as Ballarat, Newcastle, Townsville and Cairns. A large protest was also held in Hobart on Thursday.
More than a thousand primary and secondary students filled Sydney’s Martin Place and students in Melbourne marched through the streets, bringing traffic to a standstill.
The prime minister, Scott Morrison, had earlier this week urged students this week not to take part and told them to be “less activist”.
On Friday, the resources minister Matt Canavan said he would prefer students to learn about mining and science. “These are the type of things that excite young children and we should be great at it as a nation,” he told 2GB radio. “The best thing you’ll learn about going to a protest is how to join the dole queue.”
In Sydney, student Jean Hinchliffe, 14, took to the stage and told her fellow students the protest was just getting started. “This is our first strike,” she said. “Our first action. And it is just the beginning. And we’ll keep doing it until something is done.”
Lucie Atkin-Bolton, 11, the school captain of Forest Lodge public school, said she had been let down by politicians.
“I wish I didn’t have to be here today,” she said. “I’m the school captain at my primary school. We’ve been taught what it means to be a leader. You have to think about other people.
“When kids make a mess, adults tell us to clean it up and that’s fair. But when our leaders make a mess, they’re leaving it to us to clean up.”