On Friday before the nightmare that ensued in Christchurch, students around New Zealand stood up for Addressing Climate Change. There were marches in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Dunedin and other centres around the country. This Student Strike was coordinated with students from around the world who chose Friday the 15th of March 2019 to tell the powers that be to stop wasting time and to act decisively to secure the future and fix the mess that preceding generations have been responsible for.
Ecotricity attended the event that occurred in Aotea Square in Auckland. The atmosphere was positive and electric. It was one of hope and optimism and the creativity of the students’ placards was refreshing.
Here are some of the slogans on the placards.
“If you wont act like adults we will!”, “If the climate is changing, why aren’t we?”, “What I stand for, I stand on!” “If teachers can strike for money why can’t we strike for our future?” “Climate action like my homework is long overdue.” “There is no Planet B!”
The students were from all backgrounds, races, religions and age groups. Primary School students to Secondary School and some University students and supporting adults. Some students got permission from their school principals, others participated anyway. It was uplifting to see these young people take part in the democratic process.
There were speeches from some of the participating students and also from Marama Davidson from the Green Party and activists from Generation Zero, 350.org, Greenpeace and other caring individuals.
The atmosphere was festive but piping hot and some students were using their placards as fans to keep the heat at bay.
There were chants “Hey Hey Ho Ho Climate Change Has Got To Go!”, Student Strike! Student Power!” and at the conclusion of the speeches the students marched up and down Queen Street blocking traffic and creating a public disturbance. Lifting their signs. “I would be at school if the Earth was Cool! “Time is a non-renewable resource! “, “Fossil Free Future!” “This planet needs you to give a shit!” “ACT now this is our future!” “Our world, our responsibility”
“Our chances are skinny, so are the polar bears”,” Sea levels are Rising, So are WE!!”
On Friday New Zealand faced it’s darkest day. This horrendous event eclipsed the positive voices of these children from around the world speaking up for the planet. Since the tragedy that occurred in Christchurch there has been an outpouring of love and inclusiveness across New Zealand. I hope that this ground swell of support for the Muslim Community grows and that love eclipses the hate and divisiveness that was displayed on Friday. This collective care for each other needs to grow to include the planet that sustains us and collectively we need to bring out, promote and support the best of humanity. I hope that collectively we can make this planet a safer, more inclusive and more peaceful place.
Let’s think about future generations and bring about a positive shift in the consciousness of the Earth.
Let’s take heart from our youth who have entered the democratic process displaying optimism, hope and positivity for the future of the planet and of us.