Friday 3 May 2019 was a Climate Election Day of Action in 75 locations across Australia, where thousands of students left their schools in order to pay their local federal politicians a visit instead, as a contribution to the #climateelection debate. Australian voters will go to the polls to elect their country’s next government on 18 May.
In Europe, there is an election for the EU Parliament on 26 May, and the rapidly growing youth climate movement Fridays For Future has announced that a new global strike day will take place two days before that: On Friday 24 May, the next Global Strike For Future will be manifested with marches and climate strikes all over the world.
At the latest international strike, on 15 March, at least 1.8 million young and supportive adults participated in over 140 countries. In Sweden, Greta Thunberg’s home country, 80 towns and cities around the country have now announced that they will be having climate rallies and manifestations on 24 May.
→ Would you like to join the Global Strike For Future in your locality?
→ Create an event: You can register your event to join the global map here.
Captured the nations’ hearts and headlines
SchoolStrike4Climate wrote in their newsletter about the Australian school strike on 3 May 2019:
“There were so many incredible stories from the day. For example, Warringah students confronted Tony Abbott’s climate denial and it went viral. Peter Dutton ran away from kids in his electorate who just wanted to present him with a letter. Some students travelled hours to rally outside Scott Morrison’s office and were reduced to tears about his inaction.
Hundreds of students braved the rain and cold to make their voices heard in Adelaide and Canberra.
Turnout in regional locations surpassed our expectations, with hundreds rallying at offices in coal regions like Townsville and Newcastle. In Perth, turnout was triple the expected size. In Melbourne, over a thousand students sat down in front of Liberal Party Headquarters, only to have them pull down the roller doors and shut up shop. Democracy eh?!
We captured the nations’ hearts and headlines, and now more and more people are talking about the deeper impact that our generation is having on public opinion and this election.”
→ See photos from the day on schoolstrike4climate.com
School strikers at polling booths
Campaigners at the SchoolStrike4Climate headquarters are now focusing on the federal election:
“This election is a referendum on OUR future, which is why we’re inviting every school striker to turn out in force at a polling booth near you on May 18.
Whoever gets voted in on May 18 will shape the course of history in this critical decade. We need every government from now on to treat this situation for what it is: a crisis.
Imagine thousands of us at polling booths across the country displaying our epic school strike signs, reminding every adult of their responsibility to vote for a safe climate. It’s going to be magic.
Together, we can and are building an unstoppable community mandate for a new kind of politics – a politics defined by courage and hope, not fear and cowardice.
Together, our movement has the power to draw a line in the sand on politicians who do not take this crisis seriously and instead ensure that the people making decisions on our behalf pull out all the stops to protect our futures.
Let’s do this!
→ See you on May 18 at a polling booth near you.”
→ Sydney Morning Herald – 4 May 2019:
‘The earth has survived many things’, Abbott tells children protesting against climate inaction [This was the most viewed article on Fairfax nationally on 5 May 2019]
Photos of the school strikers outside Dutton’s office
→ ABC – 3 May 2019:
Tears outside PM’s office as students skip school to demand climate action again
→ The Conversation – 2 May 2019:
Young people won’t accept inaction on climate change, and they’ll be voting in droves
→ ABC – 2 May 2019:
After weeks of protests, UK becomes first country to declare ‘climate emergency’
Poll: “The most important election issue for young people”
Australia saw a sharp spike in searches for ‘climate change’ on 14 March 2019 – the day before the national climate strike. If we assume Google searches are a good indicator of public attention, Australians hadn’t been this engaged by climate change since 2010.
The 2019 Triple J What’s Up In Your World survey of young people found climate change was “the most important election issue”: “Last year’s survey asked about the most pressing issue affecting young people. That time, climate change languished fourth on the list: now it appears to be gaining momentum.”
→ BBC News – 3 May 2019:
The Greta effect? Meet the schoolgirl climate warriors
“What makes me feel really angry is the fact that the science is there, the facts are there, and the technology and solutions are there – all we need to do now is put them into practice." #climatestrike #ss4c #climateemergency https://t.co/oMub0TeKKd— 350Australia (@350Australia) May 2, 2019
Live-streams from the 3 May national school strike
Melbourne – live-streaming from the Liberal Party headquarters:
Many older adults have been warning for decades that “future generations” will suffer for our selfishness and inertia from continued inaction.— Paul Dawson on Climate Change (@PaulEDawson) May 3, 2019
Now, those so-called future victims are finding their voice to try and shape the agenda.#ClimateChange https://t.co/IFXQyYsDo3