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Answering Greta Thunberg’s call for a global students’ strike against global warming on 15 March 2019

Time is of the essence for us to save our world from a climate catastrophe, which is why Globalization Monitor was eager to join the students’ strike at Charter Garden on 15 March 2019. The student group that organised the action applied for a Letter of No Objection from the Police, but the Police did not close any roads for the rally, meaning that protesters had to take a more dangerous route to get to the Central Government Offices via a detour to Pacific Place. Protesters chanted “The Earth is Dying, No Denying” and “Climate Action Now” as they made their way through the procession. Apple Daily reports that the rally had around a thousand participants.

 

The rally was inspired by the #FridaysForFuture action organised last August by Greta Thunberg, a sixteen-year-old Swedish female student. After Swedenhad been struck by heatwaves and wildfires in its hottest summer since records began, Thunberg began skipping classes every day until the 2018 Sweden general election, sitting outside the Riksdag (Swedish Parliament) protesting against the lack of concerted efforts from developed countries in tackling climate change. Since the elections, she has been going on school strike every Friday, explaining that “we need to change ourselves now, because tomorrow it might be too late.” Her determined stand against climate change has inspired students from as many as a thousand and seven hundred cities around the world to organise their own strikes. This includes Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Taipei, Seoul, Busan, and Zhejiang. According to reports, five climate protests were originally organised in mainland China. They were later cancelled, and participants wore black to support the movement instead. 

 

 

 

The action in Hong Kong was organised by several international schools; this includes Zara Campion and Elisa Hirn, seventeen-year-old students who started the Student Strike for Climate Action Hong Kongevent on Facebook. Several local groups also participated in the action, including Land Justice HKGreenpeace HKFriends of the Earth (HK), and Amnesty International Hong Kong. The students demanded a government representative to accept their petition after they arrived at the Central Government Offices. A government representative did eventually accept their letter, but both the Secretary for the Environment and the Secretary for Education were absent. The students’ strike was a meaningful action, and we hope to see more local students participate in the future.

 

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