Thousands of pupils are set to be absent from school on Friday 15 February, in order to take part in a series of coordinated protests drawing attention to climate change.
The movement started in August when 16-year-old schoolgirl Greta Thunberg held a solo protest outside Sweden’s parliament. Now, up to 70,000 schoolchildren each week are taking part in 270 towns and cities worldwide. More than 200 academics have voiced their support for this week’s school climate strikes, in which thousands of young people are expected to take to the streets in towns and cities across the UK.
Similar protests have been held in individual UK cities and other countries, including Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands, where tens of thousands of children refused to attend school so that they could take part in rallies to raise awareness about threats to the environment from global warming. But Friday will be the first nationwide day of action. So far, more than 10,000 students skipped school to protest in Belgium. A similar number went on strike in the Netherlands.
Supporters suggested they expected a turnout in the low thousands for this Friday’s protest in the UK but believed a second day of strike action – on 15 March and in coordination with similar protests in other countries would be considerably larger as the movement took hold.
> Poushi Sarker