Thousands of UK schoolchildren strike over the environment

Thousands of schoolchildren across the UK are striking from school today as part of the Global Strike for Climate.

The protests aim to put pressure on governments around the world to do more to tackle climate change and protect the environment.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg kick-started the movement in 2018 when she decided to not attend school until the Sweden general election after heat waves and wildfires engulfed her home country. 

She then announced that she would continue to strike every Friday until Sweden aligned with  Paris Agreement climate targets, coining the slogan #FridaysForFuture, which gained worldwide attention and inspired children to stage their own protests.

For the first time, the strikes today will also see adults missing work.

Environmental activists Extinction Rebellion, who have staged several high profile campaigns this year to raise awareness of climate change, said they ‘stand in solidarity’ with those striking.

Connor Newson, Extinction Rebellion activist, said: ‘The need for educational reform is critical. Through today’s event we are taking matters into our own hands.

‘We are no longer satisfied by asking for change, today we are creating and demonstrating the reform we want to see and acting as an example for educational institutions to take notice and follow suit. We stand in solidarity with the youth strikers. We are rewriting our reality to take back control over our future.’

Earlier this week, education minister Gavin Williamson wouldn’t say if he backed the strikes.

Photo Credit – Theo Lees in Manchester.

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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