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Australian students take a protest day

Federica Frew, Staff Writer

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School children all around Australia have taken the day off school to protest the government’s inaction on climate change.

Thousands of students ranging from Primary School (K-6) to High School (7-12) age flocked to capital cities and regional centers around Australia to urge Prime Minister Scott Morrison to do more about the environment.

The students were said to be inspired by a 15-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg who misses class every Friday to sit outside the Swedish parliament to spur action against climate change.

Student leaders in Australian schools looked to Thunberg for inspiration for their own walk-out this Friday.

Students waved handmade signs and chanted songs, and in some places brought their cities to a standstill.  As the country prepares for what is expected to be a scorching summer, the students are protesting for more action on climate change and to ditch their nonrenewable energy resources so that they do not have to live with the decisions of those in charge today.

From an interview with a BBC reporter, protestor Jagveer Singh, 17, said, “”We will be the ones suffering the consequences of the decisions they [politicians] make today.”

According to The Age newspaper “more than 5000 turned up in Melbourne, to add to the 5000 in Sydney, 1000 in Brisbane, 1500 in Hobart and hundreds more in 20 smaller events nationwide.”

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded in Parliament, “What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools.”

The resources Minister Matt Canavan – whose brother owns a mine – had this to say, “The best thing you learn about going to a protest is how to join the dole [welfare] queue because that’s what your future life will look like.”

Climate change is hitting Australia harder than many other countries.

Summer has not even started, and the country is reeling from extreme temperatures resulted in several bushfires in the state of Queensland.  Australian farmers are also experiencing a terrible drought and the country is exposed to UV rays from a hole in the ozone layer.

As the controversial Adani coal mine is scheduled to begin construction before Christmas, the protest is coming at the right time.  The Liberal Party is under immense pressure following a blowout loss in the Victorian State Election to the Labor Party.

Scott Morrison’s party is now facing intense scrutiny from one of its most important constituents – the young population who will be turning out en masse to vote in the next national election.  Although these children are not old enough to vote as of now, their activism is inspiring.

As future leaders of this country, these kids have already shown they are willing to fight for what is right.  They should not listen to their Prime Minister and keep protesting until more is done for our environment.

 

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Australian students take a protest day