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#ClimateStrike: How young people are rallying to take control of their futures today


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Today has seen an international day of strikes - a mass protest against the world's governments, demanding that they  stand up to climate change. In total, schools in over 100 countries have participated.

Strikes began earliest in Australia, New Zealand and across the rest of the southern hemisphere, with a massive 150,000 students and 'adult supporters' striking just in Australia.

In Melbourne alone, 40,000 students went on strike. According to School Strike 4 Climate Australiathe movement in the country began in November last year, when 'over 15,000 Australian school students went on strike, defying Prime Minister Scott Morrison's orders not to'.

There have also been strikes across Asia, including India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and many more locations. Strikes were also seen across Africa and the Americas. Even Antarctica saw strikes.

These strikes have been meticulously coordinated and organised, with a letter detailing the students' demands released two weeks ago. You only need to search #SchoolStrike4Climate, and thousands upon thousands of tweets about the protests taking place all over the world today will appear.

Swedish school girl Greta Thunberg, who inspired the movement and has today been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, has been showing her support for students, retweeting pictures from all over the world of those who are are taking a stand against their governments.

The movement #FridaysForFuture was started in August 2018, following in Greta's footsteps, and has helped to coordinate students' protests all around the world over the past few months.

It is estimated that in the UK, young people from 60 towns and cities are striking today.

The Guardian today explained how 'climate justice is breaking down the walls that divide the world'. There have been many movements throughout history of this kind, such as protests against the war in Vietnam and protests to end Apartheid in South Africa. Both of these examples led to change, but it remains to be seen whether these strikes will force the worlds' leaders to listen and take action.

Auftaktkundgebung der FridaysForFuture Demonstration am 25. Januar 2019 in Berlin

Image Credit: Leonhard Lenz on Wikipedia

The strikers have also been joined in many cases by parents, grandparents and other adults who are giving thier full support to the younger generation's statement that enough is enough. These strikes are organised and peaceful, although there is no doubt that the following days will see a vast amount of criticism from leading politicians. The strikes last month drew a high level of criticism, not least from the UK government.

A note from our Environment Editor, Matilda Martin:

"The Guardian writes that young people are calling for 'system change, not climate change'.

"Our governments, particularly those in the West, are manufactured to reap the benefits of the short term, for those in power right now. The reason that governments have not taken substantial action against climate change is that it is not beneficial in the short term - in other words, for their pay cheques. 

"Our world revolves around money. Our leaders need to stop being selfish and change this, because in the long run, it is more beneficial for everyone to stop climate change.

They've had their chance. Such lack of action shows us exactly why they should not be the ones making decisions for our future - because it is OURS."

Lead Image: Extinction Rebellion on Twitter

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