We joined the climate strike ‘Youth Strike 4 Climate’ on Friday 15th March and we thought a debrief would be appropriate. At 10am on Friday, we joined the London university bloc alongside Imperial, King’s College, LSE, UAL, and others. Starting from South Kensington, we first joined up with students from Imperial and then we met up with other universities and marched from The Strand and finished at at Parliament square. The majority of walkers were high school, middle school and primary school students. It was a pleasure to add our support.
One name echoed strongly throughout the walk: it was the name of Greta Thunberg. Greta is the 16 years old activist who started the strike movement, recently announced as a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Greta is known for her convincing skills and hard-to-avoid call for actions. She is the hero often quoted as inspiration to so many we met on Friday.
As we were walking around London landmarks, the slogans we heard based on iconic melodies were such as:
‘Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Fossil Fuels have got to go!
‘What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!’
‘I don’t know what I’ve been told, but climate change is getting old. I don’t know but it’s been said, we have to act or we’ll be dead’
‘Climate change is real! We’re telling you how we feel!’
‘Don’t want to die, don’t want to die’
From tambourines to remixes of R’n’B’ finest ‘Hot in Here’, passing with grimes remix sang by the old to the voices of four years old, the walk was letting the youth shine. What we saw were people re-appropriating climate change culture, and it came as a relief.
The banners of the walk carried a DIY art class vibe to them, of which we selected a few to put in this blog post. It was a special feeling to walk alongside so many unpoliticised young people, with a clear majority around 14 to 19 years old. Families with young children, middle school and high school students were the uncontested star of Friday. Arriving in front of Parliament Square, we even ran into George Monbiot
If there is a thank you which we could promote, it would be to the people making sure everyone was fed and healthy by giving out clementines. The bright orange peels were a striking contrast to the grey cement of the city roads. The juice of the clementines themselves spreading on our smiles. The overwhelming feeling of care and kindness found at the walk has still not left us.
We hope our voices are heard.