Student climate activists tell Labor to stop funding fossil fuels

November 15, 2023
Victorian Greens MPs and the climate banners. Photo: @GabrielledeVie/X

Climate activists dropped three banners in the public gallery of Victorian Parliament on November 14, before 20 police forced them to leave.

Their stunt was aimed at encouraging support for the national student strike for the climate (SS4C) on November 17.

Myles Wilkinson, an organizer with SS4C told Green Left: “We asked them, in song, if they stand with us or the wealthy few – by which we mean the fossil fuel industry which is profiting from the exploitation of the planet and putting so many people at risk.

“Our future matters. Everyone is going to be affected by this climate crisis. We need to use our voices and that’s why it’s important to come to the strike on Friday.

“There is nothing more dangerous than not using your voice on issues that affect you when the climate crisis inevitably escalates”, Wilkinson said.

“Tens of millions of people will be put at risk of becoming refugees by 2040: everyone is at risk in a climate emergency driven by government funding of fossil fuels.”

Scientists have criticised Australia for continuing to approve fossil fuels, but “Anthony Albanese doesn’t listen and Tanya Plibersek doesn’t listen. So students do need to stand up.”

Wilkinson said we need to help each other “build a collective movement”.

“We are not going to stop fossil fuels in one day, by one strike, but through civil disobedience and peaceful protest we’ll get there.”

Wilkinson said Australians have more of a responsibility to demand change.

“The countries that have fewer resources to deal with this climate crisis are also the ones that emit less carbon emissions.”

He accused Australia’s government of putting Pacific Islanders into their “death beds”. More than 48 communities are already “planning to vacate” because of the climate crisis.

Any fossil fuel project approved makes Labor more “responsible for the death and suffering” in the North Pacific because of climate change”, Wilkinson said. 

“We need change and students have that power; that’s why we need to strike on November 17.

[Find your nearest climate strike here.]

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