On strike: Thousands of Irish pupils to protest over climate change today

Thousands of Irish secondary school students went on strike today. They gathered for demonstrations around the country, including outside government buildings, to protest against politicians’ inaction on climate change.

Why now?

Today’s strike is part of a worldwide initiative, sparked by the incredible 16-year-old Greta Thunberg. Greta, who attends school in Sweden, recently spoke out about climate change in Davos at the World Economic Forum. In 2018, she arranged a similar protest outside Swedish government buildings, demanding that climate changed be seriously addressed.

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"Adults keep saying, ‘We owe it to the young people to give them hope," she said. "But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act," Greta said.

Today, like-minded teenagers are staging similar protests across the globe.

Today’s strike

The students on strike today insist fossil fuels must be abandoned, that a sustainable energy source must be established, that ocean temperatures must be reduced – and that the responsibility lies with the government, not just the Irish people.

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The biggest protests are taking place in counties Dublin and Cork, though smaller protests are taking place in 19 other locations around the country too (some within the school premises themselves).

In Cork, teenagers will gather at the Opera House at 1 pm and march onwards to City Hall. In Dublin, they’ll unite at Stephen’s Green before marching to the Dáil. In Offaly, secondary school students are staging a protest outside Tullamore’s council offices.

Support

Teenagers have decided enough is enough. Their strike action is being supported by local authorities and their parents, with TD Ruth Coppinger saying yesterday, "The urgency young people are bringing to climate change is inspiring. I salute Greta and all school students set to strike tomorrow. I’ll be joining them tomorrow at 12 pm at Stephens Green."

Twitter users are supporting the students too, with one person tweeting, “I'm proud of the youth. All over the world, the #climatestrike takes action. No matter of race, religion or culture. All for one goal. Keep fighting. The power belongs to the youth.”

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Another said, “Thinking of all the cool, passionate kids walking out of school today to protest inaction on climate change. Let's hope you really can be the future.”

Photo: Greta Thunberg via Instagram


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