“So this is our invitation. Starting on Friday 20 September we will kickstart a week of climate action with a worldwide strike for the climate. We’re asking adults to step up alongside us….Let’s all join together, with your neighbours, co-workers, friends, family and go out on to the streets to make your voices heard and make this a turning point in our history.” Greta Thunberg, Guardian 2019.
Next week, we will be at the Global Climate Strike in London, supporting the millions of young people who are striking against climate crisis. Can you join?
Every Friday school pupils walk out of school to protest against climate crisis. The Global Climate Strike on September 20th is not a Youth Strike – it is a general strike. All workers in all industries stopping work at the exact same time.
We don’t have much time left. Climate crisis is going to force us to start thinking differently, quickly – not just about what is possible, but about what is necessary.
Anyone can join the strike. For examples of organisations participating:
In the UK, the University and Colleges Union agreed to “support and promote calls for a general strike for action on climate change”.
TUC have agreed to do the same.
The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) has unanimously passed a motion to endorse a general strike.
The Public and Commercial Services Union, Unison Scotland
Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Kumi Naidoo, has written a personal plea to more than 30,000 schools around the world today urging them to allow children to take part in the unprecedented wave of global climate strikes planned for 20 and 27 September.
1000 Amazon colleagues are joining the strike
Germany’s GLS ethical bank, which finances environmental and social ventures, says it will close on September 20 so all employees can march “against the climate catastrophe”.
In Australia, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) are joining in.
Ben & Jerry’s are closing stores to allow their colleagues to strike in Austrailia. The company’s Australian arm has declared that business as usual “is no longer a viable plan” in the face of a climate emergency. Or as the company says in its values statement: if it’s melted, it’s ruined.
If you can strike:
There are strikes being organised all over the UK, you can search for your nearest here. Stay a few hours - you will be showing up for the younger generation, playing a direct role in the climate fight and you’ll be helping to represent who can’t afford to miss a day’s wages or get to a strike.
If you can’t attend in person:
Friday 20th September
“We 'cannot be radical enough' in tackling climate crisis” Sir David Attenborough
Read on for an open letter from 14-year-old teen activist Holly Gillibrand.
To the adults of the world,
We are calling for a global strike on 20 September and we are asking for you to join us in protest.
We urgently need to raise as much awareness of the climate emergency as possible. This is a crisis that is affecting people living now, and it will affect my generation the most in future. If we don’t act now, then it will be too late.
Our planet is currently warming faster than at any other point in its history, with the last four years being the hottest ever. In the last 50 years alone, winter temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 3-4°C, causing rising sea levels. Global emissions and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are rising rapidly and show no signs of slowing down.
These factors are already having a devastating impact on the planet and its eco-structure, and they will continue to do so.
So we need you to strike for as long as you can. You can find details of your nearest strike here, and if there isn’t one near you, then please organise one yourself. Create eye-catching banners, organise die-ins (a type of protest where you lie ‘dead’ on the floor) and help us to make as much noise as possible.
Many of you have been unable, or unwilling, to join us on our strikes so far. Perhaps this is because you still don’t understand the problems that we are fighting against, or you think that our protests are for young people and children only. But we need you to strike just as much as we need the youths of the world to strike.
I’ve been striking as a #FridaysforFuture activist every Friday since 11 January, and my first strike was scary because it was my first ever protest. I didn’t know what to expect, or how people would react to us. So I can understand if you have never been on a strike before and you’re feeling nervous about joining us.
My advice would be to strike with as many people as possible, and remember what you are striking for. A moment of feeling nervous or embarrassed, is nothing compared to how my generation will suffer in the future if we don’t take a stand now.
The strike on 20 September certainly won’t be our last, because we need to continue to put pressure on governments around the world. We need them to listen to us and to start taking action.
But this strike is crucial because the United Nation’s climate action summit is going to be held three days later, on 23 September. António Guterres, the secretary general of the UN, has called us inspirational, but the summit will prove whether he and the world’s leaders have actually been listening to us. We want to see a change being made.
As a child who has not yet had a proper education in climate change, it is not up to me to say specifically what changes the UN needs to take. But necessary and unprecedented action does need to be taken, and urgently. We want to see concrete steps being taken to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming to 1.5°C.
The youths of the world have woken up to this crisis and we are deciding to take a stand. You should know that your actions now will dictate our entire lives.
So we need you to take a stand, too. Even if you can’t join this strike, join us on the next one, or the one after that.
I hope that we have woken you up to this crisis, and that you are prepared to join us to fight for a better world, and a better future.
Holly Gillibrand, 14, Scotland