On Friday the 15th of March, students in Bath got involved in the Youth Strike 4 Climate Global Strike to raise awareness about climate change. In August 2018, 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg decided to stop attending school on Fridays and instead protest outside the Swedish parliament to fight for change. Now, students and young people everywhere are doing the same.
Strikes are being organised in over 100 countries in almost 1,700 towns and cities. On the same day last month, more than 10,000 students across the UK went on strike. Students are using this opportunity to voice their concerns in efforts to get parliament to acknowledge the reality of climate change. As of yet, skipping school seems to be the most powerful way to gain the type of attention that is needed. The strike in Bath began at 11 in the morning, along with the other strikes across the country. Students and locals gathered outside the Guildhall, presenting banners and posters that stated what they were fighting for.
Sending a message
Amongst the banners and protesting posters, phrases such as, ‘There is no Planet B’ and ‘The Climate is reaching its Climax’ were seen displayed on the students signs. Young people of all ages attended, some dressed for the occasion in face paint and fancy dress. Loud music and chanting shortly followed and within an hour, protesters began marching to the Abbey Courtyard and Roman Baths, making their way through Southgate. The gloomy weather outside didn’t seem to discourage anyone from joining, and the large ever-growing crowd would occasionally take up whole roads and paths – stopping onlookers in their tracks. It was inspiring to see how passionately young people feel about the issue and how many are willing to sacrifice some of their education to fight for change.
After the march, the strike made its way down from Southgate to Kingsmead Square and back to the Guildhall where chanting continued for a while after.
The UK Student Climate Network is an organisation behind the Youth Strike 4 Climate Global Strike who promote the #FridaysforFuture movement that encourages students to strike every Friday along with Greta Thunberg. The UKSCN state on their website that their aim is to ‘publicly demonstrate that we will no longer be pushed out of the dialogue surrounding the critical environmental threat for our generation.’ The Youth Strike 4 Climate Global Strike has since emerged because so many others, including myself, feel the same way. Overall, the strike is hoping to ‘create a strong movement of students to send a message that we are tired of being ignored.’
The movement has sparked conversations about climate change across the globe. The event was also seen trending on Twitter and even made headline news. Activists are feeling hopeful already, and it’s only the second strike. Young people everywhere are adamant that after the third, fourth, or fifth global strike, the conversations will continue, and change will finally happen.
The next Youth Strike 4 Climate is scheduled to happen around the world on the April the 12th 2019. If you’d like to get involved and march alongside the globe, visit here for more information, and find out all the details of your local strike.