What Do We Want? Climate Action. When Do We Want It? Now. #YouthStrike4Climate

The Verse’s Charley Gale attended the youth strike that happened today in Brighton for climate justice. Here is what she has to say.

Today, on Friday 15th March 2019, hundreds of students and young people from across Brighton and Hove gathered together to demand change to our climate laws.

Photo credit: Meg Compton

At 11 am, the crowd began to form. Students and parents stood as one, ready to protest and urge the government to act on saving the planet. When the crowd had arrived, everyone began to make their way to The Level where the protest would continue. Though the weather was not great, everyone refused to let it get in the way of their purpose. The strike organisers even boosted the morale by putting on the event’s Facebook page to not be “put off by the rain! This weather’s going to get a whole lot worse if we don’t do something about it.”

As the crowds marched on proudly, it was impossible not to feel completely overwhelmed by the number of young people fighting for their future. The atmosphere was absolutely electric- every single person was bubbling with energy, ready to let the government know that they demanded to be heard. From 12 pm, the crowd was gathered at The Level and speeches were made by students as young as 7 years old.

Photo Credit: Meg Compton
What Would Greta Do?

Loud chants and cheers were heard from everyone. The obvious favourites were “what do we want? Climate action. When do we want it? Now” and “Say hey, say ho, climate change has got to go!” Many were carrying a variety of inspirational handmade placards- some very amusing, others completely sobering. One sign even said “What Would Greta Do?”, as a nod to the incredible girl who began this whole striking movement in August 2018.

Photo Credit: Meg Compton

16-year-old Swedish student, Greta Thunberg, stood outside of the Swedish parliament to protest for climate justice every school day for three weeks. The hashtag #FridaysForFuture became viral after she decided to continue striking every Friday until a change was made. Both students and adults alike around the world began following her lead. Now, over 100 countries have begun taking part in strikes for action against climate change. Because of her amazing contribution to saving the planet, she has now been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

If we do nothing, we will not have a future.

Studies have shown that in only 12 short years, climate change impact will soon be irreversible (link here). Therefore, this is a matter of complete urgency. With such drastic ecological changes occurring to the planet, it is extremely comforting to see our generation stand up for what is right. If we do nothing to change the climate laws, we will not have a future.

Photo Credit: Meg Compton

Over one million people went on strike world wide this month for climate action. It is only a matter of time until these incredible student voices are listened to, as they are becoming very hard to ignore.

Quite aptly, next week the University of Brighton are holding their own Green Week as part of their c-change campaign. There will be many events taking place, including two beach cleans and the “2019 big c-change pledge-athon”. You can find more information on this week and the events here.

For more information, please visit the websites below:

UKSCN’s website

YouthStrike4Climate Facebook page

Charley Gale

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