Last year, a 15-year-old Swedish girl called Greta Thunberg did a small thing that inspired a big movement.
She made the choice to strike from school and spend her days instead protesting climate change outside the Swedish Parliament. Her reasons for doing it have resonated with hundreds of thousands of children and young people across the world.
“Some say I should be in school. But why should any young person be made to study for a future when no one is doing enough to save that future? What is the point of learning facts when the most important facts given by the finest scientists are ignored by our politicians?”
– Greta Thunberg
Now, this global movement has arrived in New Zealand. On March 15, we will be joining a global youth climate strike that will span dozens of countries around the world, from Africa to Europe, from Australia to North and South America.
Will you support us? Here’s a link to our events…
The events will feature youth speakers, activities, and chanting. It will be a safe and completely inclusive space, with heaps of volunteer officials for support. We invite all kindergarten, primary, secondary and tertiary students to join us – this movement concerns all of our futures.
We also invite all parents, teachers, whanau and members of the community to stand with us on the day – we need your support and intergenerational solidarity. If you’re a teacher, consider taking your class to a local action as a “class trip”.
We are doing this because we have the right to inherit a liveable planet from our parents and grandparents. For over 50 years, politicians and businesses have known that climate change poses an existential threat to life on Earth.
They’ve known that we can’t afford to keep burning fossil fuels, or depleting our oceans, rivers, forests, and land. In this knowledge, they have continued to do it anyway, and played political ping-pong with our future.
We are the ones who will inherit the consequences of this inaction, and we are scared. What will we do if the ecosystems we depend on collapse? Where will all the people who lose their homes go?
We have a vision for a safe climate future. One with plentiful native forests, clean rivers, and thriving ecosystems that allow life to flourish. We refuse to give up on that future, not only for ourselves, but for all future generations.
We’re going on strike from school on March 15 to protect this future, and send a strong, united message to the New Zealand Government that the youth of Aotearoa New Zealand demand urgent action.
We, the youth have started to rise, and we will not stop until we see climate justice.
This was written by Raven Maeder.