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International round up: Students stage worldwide climate strikes

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Issue 2724
Student strikers in the Philippines declare there is no planet b
Student strikers in the Philippines declare there is “no planet b” (Pic: Fridays for Future )

Students organised strikes and protests on a global day of action for the climate last week.

The Fridays For Future group, which is headed by school strike leader Greta Thunberg, said action was organised in 3,500 locations across the world. 

It marked a year since the historic week of climate action in 2019, where an estimated 7.5 million people marched worldwide. 

But Covid-19 restrictions meant a lot of events were hosted online, and protests were smaller and socially‑distanced. 

Marches were held in South Africa, Germany, India, the Philippines, Bangladesh and scores of other locations.

“Countries like India are already experiencing a climate crisis,” said activist Disha A Ravi. 

“We are not just fighting for our future, we are fighting for our present. We, the people from the most affected, are going to change the conversation in climate negotiations.

“And lead a just recovering plan that benefits people and not the pockets of our government.”

Egyptian protests demand dictator’s downfall

Protests took place in cities, towns and villages across Egypt last week, calling for the downfall of dictator Abdel Fatah el-Sisi.

Hundreds of people joined the small-scale, but rare and significant, protests throughout the week. They chanted, “Say it out loud and don’t be scared, el-Sisi has got to go.”

Police killed one protester, 25 year old Sami Wagdy Bashir, in a crackdown on Friday. Hundreds of others have been arrested.

The protests were sparked by an order by Sisi to demolish what he called “illegal construction” across the country. The order affects buildings in some of Egypt’s poorest neighbourhoods.

Sisi threatened to send the army to areas where authorities failed to carry out demolitions.

Though small, the protests are significant in a country where people face harsh punishment for “unauthorised” protests.

Sisi took over after he and the army removed the elected president Mohammed Morsi in 2013. 

He oversaw severe repression in order to crush a revolutionary movement that began in 2011 and toppled former dictator Hosni Mubarak. He has also implemented harsh austerity as part of a loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund in 2016.






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