*Tens of thousands of students to strike from school on March 15
*55+ locations across Australia, 80+ countries participating
*Demanding urgent political action on climate change, Adani's coal mine & fossil fuels
This Friday March 15, tens of thousands of Australian school students from hundreds of schools in over 55 cities and towns across Australia will join students from over 90 countries to strike from school, calling on all politicians to stop Adani’s coal mine, say no to all new new fossil fuels and power Australia with 100% renewable energy by 2030.
Following massive strikes around Australia at the end of 2018, students are this year extending an open invitation to everyone, including the union movement, health groups and the faith community, to back the strike and walk out for the day in solidarity.
Together with health, faith and human rights groups, over twenty unions have endorsed the students so far, including the Australian Education Union, National Union of Workers, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the world’s largest union federation, the International Trade Union Confederation, representing 207 million workers.*Full list of unions below
Over 800 academics have signed an open letter in solidarity with the student strikers, with more signing on each day. 2019 Australian of the year Dr Craig Challen has also publicly backed the strikers and will be attending the Sydney strike in solidarity.
Fourteen year olds Milou Albrecht and Harriet O'Shea Carre who kicked off the school strike movement in Australia with fellow students in Central Victoria, said: “A Federal Election is around the corner but our politicians are not listening to the Australian people. Extreme weather is all around us and we need our politicians to be climate leaders.
“We may still be in school but we know the mining and burning of coal, oil and gas is driving dangerous climate impacts, including droughts, bushfires, and heatwaves. We only have a decade to prevent the worst impacts of climate change yet our politicians are wasting time and putting our future in danger,” said Albrecht.
Walgett student, Harley Hickey, 13 years old, said: “I see the temperatures reaching 50 degrees during summer in my community. We have two rivers in Walgett - the Barwon and Namoi River but both are dry. No water, means no life. Where did our water go? A lot of towns along these rivers are suffering because of our government’s bad decisions. My mum always tells me we are protectors of the land, water and animals, take from them as you need but don't get greedy. I'm living and seeing my future disappear before my eyes that's why six of us from Walgett are travelling to Sydney to strike for climate action now.”
Brisbane student, Moni Siaosi,15 years old, said: "Climate Change remains the single greatest threat to our livelihoods, security and well being. In solidarity we are coming together to bring about awareness and to express our deepest concerns for the future and our planet. Until the necessary changes are made by our politicians in Australia, we will continue on our quest to be heard. The time is now. As the sea levels rise, so will we!!"
Mackay student, Amy Wyles, 14 years old, said: “We may be younger than these politicians, but we can see where the future of our world is headed if they keep propping up Adani’s coal mines and pushing more more fossil fuels. We are here to act on climate change. We won’t stop until our politicians stop treating our world’s future as a joke and realise that they’re jeopardising my generation’s future. Climate change is deadly, so why aren’t the people in power treating it seriously?”
Western Australian student, Bella Burgemeister, 13 years old, said: "This is a climate emergency and we need to take immediate action. We are striking in 50 locations across Australia and this will not stop until our politicians hear us and do what’s needed to protect our planet. It is time for people to stand together and fight for our futures."
The Australian school strike movement began last year when school students in Central Victoria were inspired by 15 year old Swedish student Greta who has been striking outside Swedish Parliament every Friday since August. Last November, over 15,000 school students went on strike, defying Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s orders not to. A similar number hit the streets a week later, in response to Adani’s announcement it would self-fund its Carmichael mine.
*Other unions who have endorsed the strike include: Australian Services Union, United Firefighters Union, United Voice, the Construction and General Division of the CFMEU Victoria, the Australian Nurses and Midwives Federation Victoria & NSW, Education International, the global federation of unions representing 30 million education workers, and Public Services International, a global union federation of 669 public services trade unions representing 20 million workers in 154 countries. Full list: https://www.schoolstrike4climate.com/partners
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Interviews can be arranged with students and other groups referenced in this Release.
For more information: www.schoolstrike4climate.com