Voices from the School Strike 4 Climate

Issue 

More than 300,000 people across Australia walked out of school and work for the September 20 #School Strike 4 Climate. Green Left Weekly’s Zebedee Parkes spoke to several high school students at the Sydney climate strike. Here’s what they had to say.

Hermione

Why have you come?

I’m here today to make sure that we get our message out that climate change has to be stopped, that we have to change and that we need to make sure our future and our world stays healthy and strong.

Why is it important for school students to walk out of class?

It’s important for school students to walk out so that teachers and politicians get our message and get what we are trying to say.

What does it mean to see so many people out here today?

It means a lot because I can see so many people trying to stop Adani and make sure that climate change is gotten rid of and our politicians and world leaders get our message.

Chloe Russell-Alexander, Samantha Zane, Parker Craig, Maddy Stevens and India Keating

Why have you come out today?

PC: I’m here to fight for my future and to ensure that my future is safe and renewable.

What does climate justice mean to you?

PC: For me, climate justice means that everyone gets what they deserve and the justice that they deserve, especially First Nations people.

MS: And that everyone gets a future, the future that they deserve rather than one that we need to clean up.

What message do you want to send to Scott Morrison?

MS: Listen to us and listen to everyone who’s telling you what’s going on.

PC: And understand our demands and realise that there is an alternative that is a lot better and sustainable.

IK: Scott Morrison, I realise that you’re “sick” of listening to us but it’s really important that you do because this is your children’s future as well as ours.

CRA: It’s economically viable too.

What does it mean to see so many people out here today?

IK: It’s amazing.

PC: It’s heart-warming really.

MS: Seeing how many people actually care and are willing to listen to the younger generation.

PC: And to fight as well.

MS: Yeah and to fight against the higher powers is just absolutely incredible.

IK: We were at the first strike and it’s just amazing to see how many more people have caught onto the message and want to do something.

CRA: It’s in a much bigger location as well.

SZ: And, it’s weird to compare it to this, but it feels like a concert, everyone here is with you and feels the same way as you.

CRA: It’s a concert for climate justice.

MS: It’s a concert for our future.

Where to now?

IK: Parliament.

PC: Straight to the top.

MS: At the moment we’re fighting, we’re using our words. We’re trying to do as much as we can as individuals, but we need the parliament to act so we can work as a majority to help each other so we can survive. 

IK: There’s only so much as kids that we can do but if the government listened to us we can do something in the next 11 years.

CRA: Businesses have a lot of power to change as well. They could implement small changes to reduce their own waste and many other people can follow suit and we could eventually end up with some action.

PC: And as well as creating change in our own personal lives that can help the environment too.

Xavier Cross

Why have you come out today?

What we are doing is horrific and we need to stop. But ScoMo, who has the basic intelligence of a goldfish, doesn’t listen to any of us and is not going to the [United Nations] climate summit.

What does climate justice mean to you?

Climate justice means that anyone can do anything to help and even if it’s the smallest bit it can make the world of difference.

What does it mean to see so many people out here today?

We are the future and ScoMo doesn’t really care because he is not going to be around anymore. So I think it’s important for all of us to be here to prove that it’s important and we matter too.

High school striker

Why are you here?

To save the environment because it’s my future. I want to be able to have kids and for them to be able to live.

How does it feel to see so many people?

It’s really important. It makes me feel happy that there’s hope. I’m born here, can’t I live in a good world, with a good ecosystem?

What does 'system change not climate change' mean to you?

It means more renewable energy, no coal mines. Stop Adani ... like, what is that? Just stop it!

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