Yesterday, three North Shore Mums took their ten-year-olds, along with a couple of younger siblings, to their first ever Climate Strike. They joined over 300,000 students, teachers, parents, grandparents and workers across Australia to show the world that they are serious about the world we are leaving for our children. Bianka Ford, North Shore Mums Advertising Manager, shares her experience.
Personally, I was absolutely floored by what I saw. The hope and the optimism. The intelligence and the empathy. The humour and the wit. It all blended to create such a beautiful atmosphere.
The climate catastrophe is not a political matter. It’s a scientific fact and a human issue, but the solution lies in political action and these kids, led internationally by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, and locally by 17 year old Sydney student Daisy Jeffrey, showed that they were not going to ask nicely for that political action, they were going to demand it.
These inspiring young people have so much to say, and today was about giving them the space to say it, so over to them.
Who was there?
Over 300,000 people joined to strike across the nation, more than double the March 2019 turnout.
Melbourne led the way with 100,000 but Sydney wasn’t too far behind with 80,000. This was joined with 30,000 in Brisbane, 20,000 in both Adelaide and Hobart, 15,000 in Canberra, 10,000 in Perth and many more in regional centres around the country.
What do they want?
- No new coal, oil and gas projects, including the Adani mine.
- 100% renewable energy generation & exports by 2030
- Fund a just transition & job creation for all fossil-fuel industry workers & communities.
What do the kids have to say?
‘We have proved to our government that Australia does want climate action. I could never have anticipated we would grow to the size we have today. At the first strike I said this was just the beginning. Today’s strike shows we have followed through with that promise and we will never back down. None of us should have to live in fear of an uncertain future. We are on the outskirts of the biggest catastrophe humanity has ever faced and our government is doing nothing. By each of us leading in our own way, and teaching others to do the same, we can build our way out of this mess.’ – Daisy Jeffrey, Sydney Climate Strike Organiser, 17 years old.
‘I have a dream that the powerful take the climate crisis seriously. The time for their fairytales is over.’ – Greta Thunberg.
‘I think it was really good that all these people came out to say “Hey! This is our future you’re messing with, you can stop playing with your toys because it’s pack up time – there’s some cleaning up to do”’ – Jimi, 10 years old.
‘It meant so much to be able to stand up for what I know is right. It was cool seeing all the other kids doing the same. It was also awesome to go with a group of friends who all want to make a difference, because I know together we can!’ – Hayley, 10 years old.
‘How does our government work? What do they do? What are they doing about Climate Change? Why aren’t they doing more? How do we change this?’ – Fynn, 10 years old.
What do the North Shore Mums have to say?
‘It was amazing to see so many students demonstrating for a better future. Go the kids!’ – Alison
‘I felt so proud of those kids. I nearly cried because I thought “how proud would you be being this kid’s mother?”‘ – Leonie
‘Was awesome to see the creativity & effort the kids put into their posters too!’ – Liz
‘It was amazing. I knew it was going to be big when the bus was packed full of people obviously going to the march an hour and a half before it started’ – Alex.
‘It was a superb turn out! Thank you to every North Shore Mum who came to help show we care, we were doing it for everyone who was not able to come. Next step – email or phone our Council, State and Federal rep about climate action.’ – Ursula
‘It was awesome, I took my 7 year old. It was our first and definitely not our last, protest. Awesome, thank you organisers.’ – Joanna.
‘AMAZING effort by the coordinators & thank you to everyone who showed up. The young people who took part and who care so deeply about critical issues give me hope for the future.’ – Kristen
How did it start?
Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg initiated the movement in August 2018 (then 15 years old) by demonstrating outside of the Swedish parliament to protest climate change inaction.
Her voice echoed around the world, landing in Australia in October 2018 where teenagers in regional Victoria picked up the torch. 20,000 students marched nationally in November followed by 150,000 in March.
Today marked a massive increase in numbers with more and more Aussies wanting their concerns recognised. Daisy Jeffrey is the 17 year old inspirational teenager leading the Sydney strike.
- Over 110 Australian cities & towns took part
- Over 300,000 people came to show their support, 80,000 in Sydney.
- 33 Australian unions including the nurses, teachers and the Australian Council of Trade Unions..
- 2500 businesses including Atlassian, Canva, Domain and Intrepid. On the way home, it was great to see shops like Lush closed in response to the Strike.
Who else is taking part?
- All 7 continents. Antarctica may not have any schools, but they do have scientists who will hold supportive rallies
- Over 150 countries
- Over 5000 Strikes
- 90 Unions
- 4 Global Union Federations
In three days, leaders from around the world will meet in New York for the United Nations Emergency Climate Summit. Australia’s PM Scott Morrison will not attend the UN summit although he will be in New York at the same time meeting with Donald Trump. Many of our other local, state and federal politicians came to support the rallies or tweeted their support.