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We have the Right to Live our Dreams: Youth Climate Strikers

The students striking from schools around the world in an open letter stating: “We are going to change the fate of humanity, whether you like it or not.” The letter says: “United we will rise on 15 March and many times after until we see climate justice. We demand the world’s decision makers take responsibility and solve this crisis. You have failed us in the past. The youth of this world has started to move and we will not rest again.”

The Youth Strikes for Climate development isn’t halfway sorted out, so monitoring the quickly developing number of strikes is troublesome, yet many are enrolling on FridaysForFuture.org. So far, there are almost 500 events listed to take place on 15 March across 51 countries, making it the biggest strike day so far. Students plan to skip school across Western Europe, from the US to Brazil and Chile, and from Australia to Iran, India and Japan.

Thunberg, now 16 years old and who began the strikes with a solo protest beginning last August, is currently on holiday from school. She was one of about 3,000 student demonstrators in Antwerp, Belgium on Thursday, and joined protesters in Hamburg on Friday morning. In recent days, she has sharply rejected criticism of the strikes from educational authorities, telling the Hong Kong Education Bureau: “We fight for our future. It doesn’t help if we have to fight the adults too.” She also told a critical Australian state education minister his words “belong in a museum”. The strikes have been supported by Christiana Figueres, the UN’s climate chief when the Paris deal to fight global warming was signed in 2015. She said: “It’s time to heed the deeply moving voice of youth. The Paris Agreement was a step in the right direction, but its timely implementation is key.” Michael Liebreich, a clean energy expert, said: “Anyone who thinks the strikes will fizzle out any time soon has forgotten what it is to be young.” Kampus, who was invited to meet the Swiss environment minister, Simonetta Sommaruga, on Wednesday, said that the strikes will stop only when there is a clear outline from politicians on how to solve this crisis and a pathway to get there.

> Alma Siddiqua



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