Students tell MPs: ‘The dinosaurs in parliament house need to open their eyes’

Students take action in Canberra on November 28. Photo: Susan Price

Hundreds of primary and secondary students went on strike and protested at Parliament House on November 28 calling for serious action on climate change.

This was followed by thousands of students taking to the streets of about 30 cities and towns across Australia as part of the Student Strike 4 Climate Action on November 30.

Solomon Vassarotti Brann, a student North Ainslie Primary School told the crowd: “If the government says it’s committed to climate change, I want to know why it’s still supporting coal mines like Adani which increase our greenhouse gas emissions. I want climate action.”

Nia and Lolo Cornthwaite and Aisla Hardie from Chapman Primary School told the crowd why they were on strike: “Because climate change is happening. It’s caused by humans and it’s happening fast. I can’t vote but I have rights. One of my rights is the right to a future and a world fit to live in.

“I’m here today to make politicians think about the decisions they are making and how they impact on us.”

Carys Connick, an 18-year-old student at Dickson College, told the protest about how afraid she was for the future of the planet as an 8 year old. “But ten years later and we have raging bush fires in our backyards, freak storms wiping out Pacific Islands.

“Animals are going extinct faster and faster as a result of our inaction on climate change. And ecosystems are vanishing into the ether because of our inaction on climate change. 

“Yet our government has no commitment to bring carbon emissions to zero in any meaningful time frame. We have no action to bring sufficient renewables to the front and centre stage of our country. We have no legislation. We have new coal-fired power plants popping up every which way we look. We have new coal mines digging up the precious soil beneath our feet. 

“They have no care, it seems. They have no compassion, it seems. And they have not accepted responsibility for humanity’s future, our future. 

“Those new technologies and the people fighting for our right to live and survive are there, but they are battling.

“And the dinosaurs who are sitting behind us in Parliament House need to open their eyes and to look up and see the asteroid plummeting towards our planet, because it is going to wipe us out.”

Around 100 protesters then went into Parliament House to meet with MPs.