30th November: In an Australian-first, as the nation experiences unprecedented fires, drought, heat and storms, thousands of students from hundreds of schools across metropolitan and regional Australia are today striking from school to demand their politicians act urgently to stop further dangerous climate change and the Adani coal mine, which threatens their future.
30 major strike events are taking place across the country, in every capital city and almost 20 regional centres including Townsville, the Whitsundays, Inverell, Coffs Harbour, Ballarat, Newcastle and Bega. Instead of going to school, students will today be at their nearest Parliament House or Federal MP’s office for the day.
See the full list of strikes taking place here. Student spokespeople can be made available for interview, and links to vision and stills can be found below.
In a week of storms, fires and record heat: On Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison used Question Time to urge students not to join the strike. On Tuesday, the Senate passed a motion in support of the strike. On Wednesday, over 200 student strikers flooded Federal Parliament to meet with MPs about climate change. On Thursday, Adani announced it has funding to push ahead with its coal mine which is a key target of the students.
Inspired by 15 year old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who has been striking outside the Swedish Parliament since August, year 8 students from Central Victoria brought the initiative to Australia and have been striking in Bendigo a day a week during November. As a show of support for the Australian strike, students in Sweden, France, Norway and Finland are also striking this week.
Harriet O'Shea Carre, 14 years old, from Central Victoria, said: “As young people, we will inherit the decisions that our politicians are making about climate change. We learn in school that scientists think we have just a decade to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and yet our politicians are helping rich companies like Adani mine and burn more coal that will only make this worse. We’re striking from school to tell them to stop, now.”
Jean Hinchliffe, 14 years old, from Sydney, said: “As a generation, we are sick of those in power failing to stop the climate crisis. We’ve spent our entire lives hearing the dire warnings. Our future is on the line, and sitting around waiting until we can vote and lead the country just isn’t enough. We are striking to tell our politicians to stop all new coal and gas projects, including Adani’s mine, and take immediate action to move Australia to 100% renewable energy.”
Ruby Walker, 17 years old, from Inverell, said: “I wake every morning in a state that is 100% drought declared. I have seen our government axe policies to protect my generation’s future. I have seen the failure to invest in solutions that would protect us and the failure to prevent and prepare for the climate crisis. Enough is enough. As young people, we didn’t create this problem, but we’re going to do everything we can to stop it. We are striking to push our politicians to treat climate change as the crisis it is and do everything in their power to keep fossil fuels in the ground.”
Students plan to continue strike action after the summer holidays and ahead of the Federal election. Many are organising meetings with their Federal Politicians to call for an end to the Adani coal mine, no new coal and gas projects and a commitment to get Australia to 100% renewable energy by 2030.
Media Enquiries: 0427 485 233 or 0437 316 331 to arrange interviews with student strikers or [email protected]
Photos from the walk-outs will be uploaded HERE with November action pics.
Vision from the walk-outs will be uploaded HERE.