Thousands of students and supporters gathered at Town Hall in Sydney to demand climate action.
This is the second “School Strike 4 Climate” protest in the last few months. Last year’s November protest attracted an estimated 15,000 students across the country.
This year in Sydney, the crowd swelled exponentially throughout the protest with police having to redirect traffic, with a number of roads including sections of Elizabeth, Castlereagh, Pitt and Druitt streets closed.
The message was clear that when it comes to climate action and their future, these young people will not be silenced.
One of the protest speakers was 15-year-old Fort Street High student, Danielle Villafana-Pore who told the crowd that “we are the generation of change.”
“Our Prime Minister wants us to do more learning and less activism.
“If you want less activism, maybe you should remove basic science from the curriculum, or maybe you could do your job,” she said.
Both the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian have spoken out against the climate strikes.
Premier Berejiklian said that while she encourages students express their views, “taking time off [school] to go to a protest is not acceptable.”
This however did not deter thousands of students cutting class to make a stand.
“Climate change is not just an environmental crisis, it’s a humanitarian crisis, and it needs to be treated as such,” Danielle told the crowd.
“This is what democracy looks like.”
The Australian and New Zealand protests kicked off the worldwide student marches inspired by the Swedish movement founder 16 year old Greta Thunberg. Greta has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her climate change activism.