Facebook Restores School Strike Events following Flood of Complaints
UPDATE (1:40pm): In response to a flood of community messages, Facebook has confirmed it was a mistake to have blocked all of our School Strike Facebook events for March 15 and they have now been restored. Hooray! This highlights the importance of freedom of expression, and the right to democratic peaceful protests.
Please tell all your friends about our Global Climate Strike on March 15 and together let's make it HUGE: www.schoolstrike4climate.com/support-us
Facebook Censors School Students’ Right to Strike about Climate Change
2nd February, 11:01 AEDT: School students are dismayed after Facebook last night removed all of their Facebook events promoting the upcoming March 15 School Strikes for Climate Action. Posts about the events are also being blocked by Facebook.
According to Facebook, the events “breach” their Community Standards. It is not clear how or why. Organisers have reached out to Facebook for a resolution, however they have so far not responded.
The March 15 strikes follow dozens of strikes organised last November when over 15,000 school students went on strike from school to call for urgent climate action, defying Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s orders not to strike. A week later a similar number took to the streets across Australia in response to Adani’s announcement it had funding for its coal mine.
“This is an outrageous attack on our freedom of speech and right to peaceful protest. Australia is literally on fire right now and is seeing heat records topple due to climate change. People’s lives and futures are on the line and yet we are not allowed to take to the streets to protest about this as young people?” said Aisheeya Huq, 16yo, from Western Sydney.
“We urge Facebook to restore our school strike events so that we can promote them to our friends on social media, and reveal the source of the complaints.
“Social media is critical to the way we organise, build our networks and have grown our movement so quickly. We can’t do without it.
“As children, we can’t vote and we can’t run for office. So peaceful protest like striking from school is one of the few avenues we have to tell our politicians to act on the greatest threat to our generation: climate change.”
“Whether the Prime Minister, Facebook or anyone else tries to stop us, on March 15, we will walk out of school to tell our politicians to take all of us seriously and start treating climate change for what it is: a crisis and the biggest threat to our generation and generations to come." said Ms Huq.
Dozens of school strikes are planned for March 15 across Australia and around the world. The Australian school strike movement began last November 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.
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For more information: www.schoolstrike4climate.com