Thousands of students are expected to strike over climate action once again this Friday 15 March in Bristol. Green councillors welcomed the news and praised young people for putting the Climate Emergency on the agenda.
The previous climate strike in Bristol on February 15 saw between one and two thousand young people protesting outside City Hall on College Green. Organisers say that the numbers are expected to be even higher this time as it is part of a global strike with more than 80 countries participating. The strike itself - the Global Youth Strike 4 Climate - is a protest over UK government inaction on climate change. The organisation behind this in the UK (UK Student Climate Network (1)) have four further demands that include lowering the voting age to 16, declaring a national climate emergency, reforming the national curriculum to making climate change a priority and the government committing to communicating the crisis to the general public.
Katie Hodgetts, a student and one of the organisers, said:
“Climate change has always been an incredibly important issue for me. But for my entire life I have watched past and present governments act in a way that jeopardises my right to a healthy and fair future. How can we be so aware of the crisis we face, yet fracking is still being pushed? We are still giving millions in oil & gas 'development aid' each year? We aren't passing enough legislation to meet our climate commitments?
“These hypocrisies have led young people to take matters into their own hands. It is us, the young people, who will have our lives altered by the climate breakdown, yet decisions are being taken without us in mind. This gross transgression of democracy has galvanised young people in to action. We are fearful of our futures, and we are fearful of leaving it in the hands of individuals who prioritise profit and fossil fuels over people and justice. So we are joining over 80 countries in demanding change on March 15th. We hope for the support of parents, teachers and politicians alike. Because time is running out.”
Green councillor and former Cabinet Member Fi Hance welcomed the news, saying:
“Political leaders need to take notice of the huge numbers of passionate young people who are protesting. We could all learn a lesson in urgency from these students. The fact of the matter is business – and politics – as usual just cannot continue if we are to avoid disaster on a global scale. That’s why Green councillors are asking the council next week to press the pension fund to divest from fossil fuels, which are both environmentally and financially unsustainable.”Sources
At time of writing a facebook event (https://www.facebook.com/events/585299771964211/) dedicated to the event had over 1500 people interested.
Local press coverage of Bristol’s last student climate strike on 15 February: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/live-protest-children-college-green-2548149