March 20, 2019

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‘This is an emergency’: Australia’s student climate strikes and where you can find them | Environment

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Tens of thousands of Australian school students are expected to walk out of class on Friday to demand governments take action on climate change.

The Australian strikes are part of a global campaign by students for greater urgency from politicians in tackling what they see as the greatest threat to their future.

Here’s a guide to what’s happening.

Where will the strikes take place?

Friday’s strikes are part of a global day of protest in 100 countries. More than 1,500 strike events are planned around the world.

As of Thursday afternoon, strikes were planned at 60 locations in Australia, most of them regional areas.

There will be strikes in every state and territory and every capital city.

Sydney: 12 noon at Town Hall

Northern NSW

Canberra: 12 noon at Garema Place

ACT and central and southern NSW

Melbourne: 12 noon at the Old Treasury Building

Hobart: 12 noon at Parliament House

Victoria and Tasmania map

Brisbane: 1pm at Queen’s Gardens

Queensland map

Adelaide: 11am at Parliament House

Perth: 11am at St George’s Cathedral

Darwin: 12 noon at Parliament House

SA, NT, WA map

The full list of strike locations is here.

Who is attending?

School students, their parents and friends. Faith and human rights groups will attend, along with representatives for the health sector.

More than 20 unions have endorsed the strike, including the Australian Education Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and United Voice.

Eight hundred academics have expressed solidarity for the students. The 2019 Australian of the Year, Craig Challen, wrote this week that he felt it was his duty to support the students. He will attend the strike in Sydney.

What started this movement?

The students have been inspired by Swedish school student Greta Thunberg, who has been striking every Friday outside the Swedish parliament since last August.

Her determination has sparked a global movement.

In November, thousands of Australian school students went on strike. This time there are more locations and organisers are expecting the number of students attending to be at least double what it was in November.

Why are students doing this?

Because they are tired of waiting for adults to make the massive changes necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change. They see climate change as an existential threat and fear for their futures.

They have lived through Australia’s recent record-breaking extreme weather and know climate change is already happening and time is running out to do something about it.

They are speaking up because for years Australia’s political leaders have failed them. They have written a list of demands here .

Manjot Kaur, 17, is one of the organisers of the Sydney strike.

“The action of striking is so important,” she said. “Students are so afraid, so upset, so worried about their future that they’re literally sacrificing their education to show how serious this problem is.

“Because right now we aren’t treating it as a crisis. The act of striking is us saying this needs to be treated as an emergency.”



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