Posted on: The Guardian | March 16th, 2019
School and university students continue Friday protests to call for political action on crisis
From Australia to America, children put down their books on Friday to march for change in the first global climate strike.
The event was embraced in the developing nations of India and Uganda and in the Philippines and Nepal – countries acutely impacted by climate change – as tens of thousands of schoolchildren and students in more than 100 countries went on “strike”, demanding the political elite urgently address what they say is a climate emergency.
In Sydney, where about 30,000 children and young people marched from the Town Hall Square to Hyde Park, university student Xander De Vries, 20, said: “It’s our time to rise up. We don’t have a lot of time left; it’s us who have to make a change so I thought it would be important to be here and show support to our generation.”
Coordinated via social media by volunteers in 125 countries and regions, the action spread across more than 2,000 events under the banner of Fridays for Future.
As dusk fell in the antipodes, the baton was passed to Asia, where small groups of Indian students went on strike for the first time.
In Delhi, more than 200 children walked out of classes to protest against inaction on tackling climate change, and similar protests took place on a smaller scale in 30 towns and cities. Vidit Baya, 17, who is in his last year at MDS public school in Udaipur, said: “In India, no one talks about climate change. You don’t see it on the news or in the papers or hear about it from government.
“This was our first strike as a nation and there were young people taking strike action in many cities. It is a fledgling movement but we are very happy with our action today. We are trying to get people to be more aware of climate change and the need to tackle it.”
Across Africa, there were strikes in several countries. In Uganda, Kampala international student Hilda Nakabuye addressed striking students in the capital.
In Johannesburg, pupils from St James preparatory school added their voices to the global demand for governments to act.