Students demand change in vast global climate strike

From Sydney to Seoul, Manila to Mumbai children demand adults act

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A young protester shouts slogans with others in front of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in New Delhi, India, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.Image Credit: AP

Sydney: Children across Asia and the Pacific kicked off what are set to be the largest global climate protests in history Friday, demanding adults act now to stop environmental disaster.

From Sydney to Seoul, Manila to Mumbai, children heeded the rallying cry of fellow teen activist Greta Thunberg and shut their textbooks in a collective call to action.

In Australia, more than 300,000 kids, parents and supporters rallied, organisers said, more than double the turnout at climate strikes in March, and among the first of 5,000 events planned worldwide by a movement dubbed “Fridays for Future”.

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Students protest in Australia Image Credit: AP

They are demanding politicians and businesses take drastic action to stop global warming, which scientists warn will lead to environmental catastrophe on current trends.

The day of protests is already eclipsing crowd numbers seen in strikes last May and will culminate in New York, where 1.1 million students in around 1,800 public schools have been permitted to skip school.

On the eve of the strikes, Thunberg – a 16-year-old Swede who has become emblematic of generational tensions over management of the planet – insisted solutions were being “ignored” and called on kids to take ownership.

“Everything counts, what you do counts,” she said in a video message to supporters.

As the sun rose above the international dateline, events began in the deluge-threatened Pacific Islands of Vanuatu, the Solomons and Kiribati – where children chanted “We are not sinking, we are fighting”.

There was a similar sense of defiance across Asia. “We are the future and we deserve better,” 12-year-old Lilly Satidtanasarn – known as “Thailand’s Greta” for her campaigning against plastic bags in malls – told AFP in Bangkok.

The adults “have just been talking about it, but they’re not doing anything,” she said. “We don’t want excuses.”

In India, schoolchildren rallied in New Delhi and Mumbai while thousands protested in the Philippines, which experts say faces threats from rising sea levels and increasingly violent storms.

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Protesters in PhilippinesImage Credit: AP

“There are a lot of people here who can feel the effects of climate change already, for example with typhoons,” Yanna Palo, 23, told AFP at a rally in the capital Manila.

“I don’t know if we’re on the frontline of the fight against climate change, but I hope so.”

Defiant children

In Australia, while some local authorities, schools and business encouraged people to take part in the strikes, some have warned that absences must be explained.

Many Australian students remain undeterred.

“We’re here to send a message to people in power – the politicians, showing them that we care and this is really important to us,” said 16-year-old Will Connor.

“Otherwise we’re not going to have a future.”

The mostly hot and dusty continent finds itself at the sharp end of the climate debate and the changing environment has become a daily fact of life.

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Protests in Hong KongImage Credit: AP

Australia is one of the world’s largest coal exporters and continues to approve massive new mines that bring jobs and have spurred three-decades of uninterrupted economic growth.

But it has also suffered the compounding effects of climate change. Recent years have brought historic droughts, more intense bushfires, devastating floods and the blanching of the Great Barrier Reef.

Australia’s conservative government – while stopping short of outright climate change denial – has sought to frame the debate as a choice between jobs or abstract CO2 targets.

Ruling coalition parliamentarian Craig Kelly on Thursday warned children that “everything you’re told is a lie”.

“The facts are, there is no link between climate change and drought, polar bears are increasing in number,” he said.

Businesses taking action

An increasing number of businesses disagree.

“See you on the streets” was the defiant message from Australian pension fund Future Super, which helped muster 2,000 companies behind “not business as usual” pro-strike campaign.

In a similar vein, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos on Thursday pledged to make the US technology and retail giant carbon neutral by 2040 and encourage other firms to do likewise.

Friday’s mass action sets the scene for a range of high-profile climate events in New York.

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Protest in ThailandImage Credit: AP A Youth Climate Summit will take place at the United Nations on Saturday.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will then host an emergency summit on Monday in which he will urge world leaders to raise their commitments made in the 2015 Paris climate accord.

The agreement saw countries pledge to limit the long-term rise in the average temperature of the Earth to two degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, and if possible, to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

A landmark UN report to be unveiled next week will warn that global warming and pollution are ravaging Earth’s oceans and icy regions in ways that could unleash misery on a global scale.

The scientific report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be put to a gathering of experts from 195 countries meeting in Morocco from Friday.

Thousands of pupils and workers walk out in global protests demanding action on climate change

Demonstrations are planned in more than 150 countries today, write Benjamin Russell, Adam Sage and Ben Webster

Today’s protest in London was organised by the UK Student Climate Network’s Global Climate Strike
Today’s protest in London was organised by the UK Student Climate Network’s Global Climate Strike GARETH FULLER/PA

Hundreds of thousands of young people were taking part in worldwide protests today in response to Greta Thunberg’s demands for action on climate change.

More than 300,000 people joined demonstrations in Melbourne, Sydney and other Australian cities at the start of what is expected to be the largest environmental protest in history. Organisers of the “Global Strike 4 Climate” in Australia said that the number of protesters had doubled since the climate change demonstrations in March.

More than 200 protests are taking place today in the UK, according to the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN). SOURCE


Hundreds of thousands attend school climate strike rallies across Australia

Organisers of the school strike for climate estimate 300,000 people turned out in more than 100 cities and towns

Mayors across the world support the strikes

First Global Climate Strike arrests in London as teachers encourage pupils to take to the streets and join mass protest inspired by eco-activist Greta Thunberg

  • The Metropolitan Police said two people had been arrested in the Strand as activists gathered across London
  • Schoolchildren joined the protests in Britain after they were urged to walk out of classes and lectures today
  • State schools urged pupils not to attend, while some private schools urged them to make their own decision
  • Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and mayor Sadiq Khan have been among those to praise young demonstrators
  • Do you know any of the protesters taking part in today’s climate action? You can email

Police have moved in and made their first arrests as the largest worldwide climate protest in history arrived in London today with hundreds of thousands of Brits taking part in demonstrations across the country.

Activists, many of whom carried Extinction Rebellion flags and banners, have descended on the capital as the Global Strike 4 Climate Change movement kicked off in the UK to coincide with protests all over the planet.

The Metropolitan Police said two people had been arrested in the Strand for breaching conditions imposed on the protesters which dictate they must gather in a specific place in Westminster, central London.

Schoolchildren joined in on more than 200 different climate strikes events in Britain after they were urged to walk out of classes and lectures today, with hundreds of thousands of workers expected to join them.

Politicians have been split on whether or not pupils should be skipping lessons to attend the climate protests, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and mayor Sadiq Khan among those to praise young demonstrators.

Mr Corbyn tweeted an image from the protest in London and is due to address a rally of climate strikers outside Parliament, while dozens of other mass-scale events are being held up and down the country.

State school leaders have urged youngsters not to take part, saying they understand the strength of feeling around the issue, but have concerns about pupil welfare.

But Suzie Longstaff, headmistress of the £18,900-a-year private Putney High School in south-west London, said that young people should be able to make their own decisions about whether to take part in today’s action.


A protester is arrested by police officers stationed outside outside King's College London as mass demonstrations hit the UK this morning

A protester is led away by police in handcuffs

Two protesters are placed in handcuffs outside King's College London near the Strand as mass demonstrations kicked off in the capital today

London police arrest Extinction Rebellion protesters reciting prayers

Youngsters take part in today's climate change demonstrations after thousands skipped lessons and lectures this morning

Thousands of protesters gather near the Houses of Parliament for today's climate change demonstration, where Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will speak later this afternoon

Police officers carry a protester away in the Strand after issuing section 14 notices amid mass-scale demonstrations in London today

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted an image from the protest in London and is due to address a rally of climate strikers outside Parliament, while dozens of other mass-scale events are being held up and down the country

Students carrying Extinction Rebellion banners and flags are shown marching through the streets outsude the Houses of Parliament

Police officers form a cordon outside Parliament Square, as demonstrators were asked to protest in specified areas

Police officers form a cordon outside Parliament Square, as demonstrators were asked to protest in specified areas

A young child looks out at the masses of people who gathered in central London today for the what is expected to be the world's largest ever join climate change demonstration

Protesters gather ahead of the UK Student Climate Network's Global Climate Strike at Millbank in London today

Young climate strikers across the country (pictured here in Millbank, London this morning) are taking to the streets as part of a global protest to demand urgent action to tackle climate change

Young climate strikers across the country (pictured here in Millbank, London this morning) are taking to the streets as part of a global protest to demand urgent action to tackle climate change

Protesters hold banners as they attend the Global Climate Strike taking place outside the Houses of Parliament this morning

A sign posted on the outside of the Ben and Jerry's store in Wardour Street, London, shows the firm's support of the climate strikes today

But Ms Longstaff said: ‘Every day we are educating the young people of the future to speak out and make their own decisions. SOURCE

‘We are trying to provide a modern and relevant education which includes connecting to topics that they feel passionate about. We can’t pick and choose what those are.

‘I’m proud that Putney students have both a social and environmental conscience and I applaud them. Those who feel strongly about protesting will be there.’

Tweeting a photo from a climate strike, Mr Corbyn said: ‘Young people here and across the world are making it impossible to ignore the environment and climate emergency.

‘This is the wonderful youth Climate Strike in my constituency; now I’m on my way to the main London demonstration.’

London Mayor Mr Khan called on the Government to ‘step up’ action on climate change, adding: ‘I am standing in solidarity with all those who are taking part in the Global Climate Strike.

‘Here in London, City Hall staff have also been encouraged to observe the strike by taking time out of their day to send a message to the world that London demands more ambitious climate actions from governments.’

‘No Planet B’: Hundreds of thousands join global climate strike

Protesters across Asia Pacific demand governments take urgent steps to prevent climate change catastrophe.

'No Planet B': Hundreds of thousands join global climate strike
Pacific Islanders attend a protest march as part of the world’s largest climate strike in Sydney, Australia [Peter Parks/ AFP]

Hundreds of thousands of protesters, many of them school students, have gathered in towns and cities across Asia, kicking off a day of worldwide protests calling for action against climate change ahead of a United Nations summit.

From the Pacific Islands to Australia and India, protesters took to the streets on Friday, demanding their governments take urgent steps to tackle the climate crisis and prevent an environmental catastrophe.

Organisers estimated 300,000 people turned up for the “global climate strike” in Australia, the world’s largest exporter of coal and liquid natural gas.

Protests were staged in 110 towns and cities across the country, with crowds calling on the government to commit to a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Greta Thunberg


Incredible pictures as Australia’s gathering for the
This is the huge crowd building up in Sydney.
Australia is setting the standard!
Its bedtime in New York…so please share as many pictures as you can as the strikes move across Asia to Europe and Africa!

View image on Twitter

“Incredible pictures,” she wrote from New York. “This is the huge crowd building up in Sydney. Australia is setting the standard!”

Protests are planned in some 150 countries on Friday and will culminate in New York when Thunberg, who has been nominated for a Nobel prize for her activism on climate change, leads the march in the city where the United Nations has its headquarters.

The UN Climate Action Summit brings together world leaders to discuss climate change mitigation strategies, including the move from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

‘I want to live’

In Canberra, the Australian capital, a 12-year-old primary school student told an estimated 10,000 people said she and her classmates had decided saving the planet was more important than classes.

“Politicians worry about us not going to school,” said Alison. “But we’re learning about the world, the danger we’re in and what we can do about it. We know it’s important to go to school and learn, but we know it is more important to save the planet for future generations to learn on.” MORE


Students around the world protest for climate action

Protests inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg were planned in about 150 countries

People take part in a protest to call for action on climate change in Sydney. (Cordelia Hsu/Reuters)

Tens of thousands of students were taking to the streets across Asia and Europe on Friday for a global strike demanding world leaders gathering at a UN climate summit adopt urgent measures to avert an environmental catastrophe.

The protests kicked off in the Pacific islands — some of the nations most threatened by rising sea levels — and Australia, where social media posts showed huge demonstrations around the country, from the big coastal cities of Melbourne and Sydney to outback towns such as Alice Springs.

“We didn’t light it, but we’re trying to fight it,” read one sign carried by a student in Sydney, as social media posts showed huge demonstrations around the country, including outback towns like Alice Springs.

“The oceans are rising and so are we,” read another sign held by a protester wearing school uniform in Melbourne.

Inspired by the 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, protests are planned in about 150 countries to call on governments to take immediate action to limit the harmful effects of manmade climate change.

People carry a giant globe with the inscription, ‘There is no planet B’ during a demonstration in Berlin. (Hayoung Jeon/EPA-EFE)

The strike will culminate in New York when Thunberg, who has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her climate activism, will spearhead a rally at the United Nations headquarters. MORE