Students march for Youth Strike 4 Climate, protesting government inaction over climate change
Thousands of students across the country joined the Youth Strike 4 Climate on the 15th March demanding action from the government over climate change.
The protest was the second youth strike held in the past two months, with the first one criticising the lack of government action over climate change. In reaction to the strike, PM Theresa May said that these protests were wasting valuable lesson time and increasing professor’s workloads.
This criticism over missing school for protesting was not taken so well by the students. “We demand a better, more comprehensive response from the government. And if not from the government – then at least from our universities,” said one of the protesters at the strike.
Students’ steps were accompanied by drum rolls, banners, shouted slogans, and even a Donald Trump doll made from recyclable plastic bottles.
These strikes were inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg’s activism for the environment in Sweden. Young protestors from all over London marched from Strand Lane to Parliament Square where local activists gave speeches.
Although these strikes were non-violent, some disruption was caused due to accumulation of traffic and the police needed to step in. Near the Blackfriars bridge, a group of university students gathered for a sit-in and blocked off most of the traffic. They were approached by several police vans and only moved after the situation started escalating and the police made threats of arrests.
Legal advice was distributed by university societies and the environmental campaigning group Extinction Rebellion to ensure that students are aware of their rights while protesting.
Mia Lewis, a first year student and environmental activist from King’s College London told LS, “I attended this strike because there is very limited direct action being taken by governments regarding climate change and I want to see change made for my future. “Universities need to further cut down on single use products and advertise sustainable products such as menstrual cups, coffee cups, recycling, etc. Maybe universities can introduce point schemes to incentivise people.”