Britain set for ‘biggest ever’ student climate strikes this Friday

Here's how you can back the youth climate change walkouts.

Climate campaigners are urging everyone – young, old and in-between – to join the youth climate strikes taking place across the UK this Friday.

Thousands will be joining students at actions all over the country, with more than 200 demonstrations planned. Around 3,200 actions will take place globally.

The biggest protests are expected to be in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham – but there are many more taking place. London will see a rally near Parliament at Millbank, with speakers from climate justice campaigns as well as Jeremy Corbyn and progressive politicians.

Backing the UKSCN is a powerful coalition of organisations, including the National Pensioners Convention, Greenpeace UK, Christian Aid, Amnesty UK, Black Lives Matter UK, Friends of the Earth, as well as the trade union movement following the TUC’s Congress last week.

The Youth Strike For Climate protests grew out of Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s ‘Fridays for Our Future’ school strikes, which spread internationally in 2018. The UK protests are being coordinated by the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN).

This week’s walkouts come ahead of the UN’s Climate Summit taking place next week in New York, where world leaders will gather to mobilise progress on the Paris Climate Agreement. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is hoping the summit will force world leaders to present plans to achieve net zero by 2050.

Support for strike action on climate change is strong, with Opinium polling for UKSCN in early September showing 61% of people believe it is essential that the public stand together and support the youth climate strikers.

An even larger majority (74%) credits the recent climate protests and strikes for boosting public awareness of the climate crisis, and half (49%) believe that striking is an effective way to put pressure on the government to take climate action. 

16-year-old Jessica Ahmed of the UK Student Climate Network, said:

“The government’s failure to tackle climate change and implement effective policies can’t be ignored anymore. On September 20th, millions of people will be taking action globally, demanding change and policies that will protect our future, such as a Green New Deal.

“Instead of focusing all their energy on Brexit, we desperately need our politicians to put their time, resources and money towards dealing with the worsening climate emergency. Time is running out.” 

Aileen McLeod, a Scottish National Party MEP and member of the European Parliament’s environmental committee, told LFF:

“Our young people are leading the way and they are looking to us to stand up and deliver policies that meet the needs of the planet. 

“I’m privileged to be attending the UN climate summit as part of the delegation from the European Parliament’s Environment Committee. I want to take the message to that summit that we, across the EU, will meet the challenge laid before us and take bolder actions that will get us on track to meet the Paris Agreement and achieve the 1.5 degrees goal. That is what is expected of us, and that is what we must deliver. 

“This is not a time for incrementalism. Instead it is a time for urgent and bold action at every level of government including the EU. My country, Scotland, has already declared a climate emergency. We need all countries across the EU and beyond to step up to the plate.”

A full list of the student actions is available here. Union members are also taking action through the TUC’s member unions – see here.

Schedule for London demonstration. UKSCN rally 11:00 – 15:00 Millbank:

  • 11:00 UKSCN student Anna Taylor opens the rally with War on Want and Global Justice Now.
  • 11:45 Details of a Green New Deal from Green New Deal UK.
  • 12:15 Lola Fayokun, UKSCN.
  • 12:40 Owen Jones, author and columnist and LGS Miners.
  • 13:00 A national ‘Climate Alarm’ – alarms will sound for 1 minute across the UK.
  • 13:30 Party leaders Jeremy Corbyn and Caroline Lucas.
  • 14:20 Closing speaker from UKSCN.

Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.

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One Response to “Britain set for ‘biggest ever’ student climate strikes this Friday”

  1. Youth Strike for Climate: Trade unions to back solidarity walkouts across the UK –

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