Friday was the latest and biggest ever Climate Strike day.
The school strike for climate (Swedish: Skolstrejk för klimatet), also known variously as Fridays for Future (FFF), Youth for Climate and Youth Strike 4 Climate, is an international movement of school students who take time off from class to participate in demonstrations to demand action to prevent further global warming and climate change. Publicity and widespread organising began after Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg staged a protest in August 2018 outside the Swedish Riksdag (parliament), holding a sign that read “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (source: Wikipedia).
From Sydney to New Delhi, and Nairobi to New York, millions of people around the world came together to protest, not just students on strike from school but also their parents and teachers, politicians, and other supporters.
I joined one of the smaller gatherings, in Northampton. The march started outside the BBC Radio Northampton offices and went through the main shopping area to the square outside All Saints church. There we gathered and listened to speeches from students, local politicians and organizers. A highlight was a talk was from one of the Heathrow Pause activists currently on bail.
It was a well organised and friendly event, and a useful opportunity to hear and talk to other people concerned about the current climate emergency. However, I couldn’t miss the irony of the speeches being drowned out at intervals as diesel buses made their way past oblivious.
While I suspect each protest will have only a tiny effect, it is clear that more and more are taking place with larger numbers of people attending each time so maybe we are finally reaching the turning point needed to change people’s views and behaviour and eventually government policy.