Colorado Students to Join Global Youth Climate Strike

Jan Cross
March 13, 2019

Students will demonstrating in Palmerston North on Friday to bring attention to climate change (file photo).

Like many of her classmates, 17-year-old Mei-Ling Ho-Shing turned to activism after a gunman killed 17 people at her Parkland, Florida high school in February 2018.

The organizers of #Friday forfuture want to make on Friday so comprehensive global school strikes for the climate on the legs as never before.

Thousands of school children in Australia and New Zealand intend to skip school and protest on Friday as part of similar action by students worldwide taking their cue from 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. Students will walk from East High School to the Capitol.

"It is unusual for such a wide range of experts to agree on a common cause, but when it comes to climate change we all acknowledged that we need to listen to the voices of young people and take urgent action. This is a celebration of what we love most!" Therefore, you have to call a "Global Strike For the Future".

Local groups including Byron Shire Climate Emergency Guidance Group, Zero Emissions Byron, COREM, Creative Mullumbimy, The Brunswick Valley Historical Society and Mullum SEED issued a statement of support for the students.

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"With our collective energy, the intention of this strike is to actively embody the vision ... for a safe, equitable, and sustainable future for all", said UVic student organizer Antonia Paquin.

The Skibbereen Community College student has led weekly protests outside of Cork City Hall since the start of 2019 to protest about Government inaction to tackle climate change. I wish we could live in a country where I could go to school every day with the reassurance that my government was taking care of me and my future.

"I$3 absolutely understand and expect the next generation to raise what is the biggest issue facing them globally". Organising the protest is itself an important practical lesson in democratic participation; young people are learning how to be heard and how to express dissent on an issue that will shape the lives of this generation and those to come.

"I think there can be more awareness about it", she said.

"I am very conflicted about [the strike] because any time you're missing school you are missing important content", she said.

Ms O'Donnell's letter states "there is no intention to take punitive action, however young people will be expected to show they have permission in order that their absence from school be recorded as authorised".

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