Kayna Fichadia of North Sydney Girls’ High School holds a placard during the protest. Photo: AAP

This Friday, March 15th students from 98 countries will walk out on their classes to protest global inaction on climate change. As we wrote last month, under the so-called “#FridaysForFuture” hashtag, this school strike was inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg (one of our Heroes of the week) and her  Friday “school strikes for climate” in front of the Swedish Parliament that have spread across Europe this year. As NatGeo reported, the organizing effort in the U.S. rests on the shoulders of three young women: 13-year old Alexandria Villasenor of New York, 12-year old Haven Coleman of Denver, and 16-year old Isra Hirsi of Minneapolis (daughter of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar).

As young activists wrote in a letter published in the Guardian “We, the young, are deeply concerned about our future. Humanity is currently causing the sixth mass extinction of species and the global climate system is at the brink of a catastrophic crisis. Its devastating impacts are already felt by millions of people around the globe. Yet we are far from reaching the goals of the Paris agreement.” Additionally, as EcoWatch noted, the students’ strike has been enthusiastically supported by major environmental organizations, including the Center for Biological Diversity, Extinction Rebellion, Greenpeace, March for Science, Sierra Club, the Sunrise Movement and 350.org.

Why This Matters: In the past two years, young people have been more energized than ever to tackle major social/global issues such as gun reform and climate change and are demanding that our political leaders take action. The “adults” have bee dragging their feet on climate action for decades and each year science tells us that we must act swiftly and urgently to reduce our emissions if we are to avoid the most disastrous consequences of climate change. 

What You Can Do: EcoWatch’s 5 ways to support students this Friday:

  1. Visit FridaysForFuture.org for more information.
  2. Find a protest near you (U.S. protests here).
  3. Plan and register your own protest.
  4. Check out this 350.org resource page: “5 ways you can support the school climate strikes.”
  5. Spread support on social media with the hashtags #FridaysForFuture, #ClimateStrike, and #SchoolStrike4Climate.

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