Author: Liam Taylor
In an impressive show of character and solidarity, thousands of Australian students took to the streets last week to demand political action on climate change.
Protests took place in cities around the country including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Coffs Harbour and Bendigo, among others. At the Sydney protest alone over 5,000 students descended on the Martin Place amphitheatre to make their voices heard.
The protest went ahead despite a warning from the NSW Education Department threatening striking students with disciplinary action along with Prime Minister Scott Morrison declaring there should be “less activism in schools”.
The grassroots student movement in Australia was sparked by actions taken by 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who is protesting outside the nation’s parliament in Stockholm until the country catches up on its commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Greta’s exploits caught the eye of Harriet O’Shea Carre and Milou Albrecht, both 14, of the Castlemaine Steiner School. The duo decided to hold their own protest in Bendigo outside the office of Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie, which in turn inspired mass action across the country.
“We have to sacrifice our education, which is something we really value, so we’re showing them that at the moment this is even more important than our education,” Harriet O’Shea Carre told the ABC.
“We’ve tried just asking, we’ve tried telling them, and so we really just need to show them now so we’re just going to keep pushing and keep trying because we love the natural world.”
To Harriet, Milou and all the other students around Australia who took matters into their own hands to protest political inaction on climate change, we at Planet Ark applaud you!
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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.
Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.