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  • Writer's pictureMichal Garvey

The kids are striking and so are we

In August 2018, Greta Thunberg started missing school to go on strike in demand of climate action from her government. She would sit outside the Swedish Parliament on Friday's with her now iconic "Skolstrejk för Klimatet" sign. Thunberg quickly gained an an international following and in March 2019, the first global strike was held in 125 countries with over one million strikers.

On Friday, school children from across Aotearoa will be going on strike once more demanding climate action from our Government. This is obviously an issue close to our hearts so we wanted to share a bit more about it. Rather than me writing about a student-led movement, I asked my friend Cate to do it. I met Cate last year during the Election when we volunteered together. Cate is in Year 11 at St Cuthbert's College in Auckland and is part of the School Strike 4 Climate Organising Group having held several roles, including National Representative and Auckland Marshall Co-ordinator.

Here's what Cate has to say...

School Srike 4 Climate is a student-led protest movement. The root of our movement is mass mobilisation and in September 2019 we mobilised 160,000 people across Aotearoa for climate justice. We’re back this year and holding another intergenerational strike for climate this Friday, April 9th.

School Strike 4 Climate, Auckland, September 2019

I’m involved in SS4C because at its core, I believe in the kaupapa of the movement. I stand behind our demands and those demands are what I believe will create a better future for Aotearoa. A future that minimises the harms caused by climate change and further promotes equality. The nation-wide demands for this strike are:

  1. We demand the Government prohibits the implementation of, and phases out the use of fossil fuels nationwide

  2. We demand the Government invests and implements a 100% Renewable Energy economy.

  3. We demand the Government invests in a just transition.

  4. We demand that the Government honours its responsibility to our Pacific Island neighbours

  5. We demand the Government becomes more stringent and cuts down on agricultural emissions

  6. We demand the Government invests within climate education

Our regional team has narrowed down these demands to be Tāmaki Makaurau specific. We’re calling for our public transport to be more accessible, affordable, sustainable, and equitable. We want to see what has been promised in documents like Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland's Climate Plan actually implemented. In 2019, the school strikes contributed to the passing of the Zero Carbon Act. This year we want to see tangible action on a more local level.

The team putting up the posters for Friday's Strike

The most important part of our moment is the people who march. Every person, no matter their age, who marches is making a difference. I am looking forward to marching alongside you this Friday! See you April 9th at 12pm in Te Komititanga Square!

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