Hundreds of thousands of people, led by school students, took part in protests across Britain on Friday calling for action to tackle climate change and the system that causes it.
It was by far the biggest ever climate protest in Britain and a massive step forward. It has offered a different vision of politics and democracy that is so different from waiting for the next election or the rotten manoeuvres in parliament.
Organisers said that around 100,000 people took part in a rally and march in central London, with around 20,000 in Edinburgh, 15,000 in Glasgow and 10,000 in Brighton and Leeds.
There were also 6,000 in Bristol and 5,000 in Manchester. In towns and cities across Britain there were big rallies that combined exuberance at being out on the streets and bitter anger at the lack of action over climate change.
In several places there were road blocks and occupations. People know the urgency of the situation and want action now.
Thanks to everyone who sent Socialist Worker reports and pictures during the day.
Emily travelled from Cambridge to the rally in central London for her first demonstration.
“This is really good fun—and I think it’s making a difference, climate change is getting reported a lot and it’s trending on Twitter” she said.
Ellen and Helen were dancing in Parliament Square when they spoke to Socialist Worker.
“This is amazing” said Helen. “It’s so energetic, it feels really powerful to be here. I’ve never been on a demonstration before but I’m definitely going to come again and bring all my mates.”
Ellen said they’d both been inspired by Greta Thunberg.
“That made me think ‘I need to do something’. I all starts with people’s actions,” she said.
Hundreds of school students occupied nearby Lambeth Bridge – despite a heavy police presence.
Cops linked arms and tried to prevent the students from leaving on one side of the bridge but soon caved in.
It was then that chants turned angrier, with hundreds of protesters shouting, “Shame on you” and “Fuck the police”.
In Manchester, after a march that some activists estimated was as large as 5,000, people returned to the starting point at Manchester Central Library.
The march was mostly made up of school students, but there were many older people as well, so that it had a real mix on it.
The day finished with music and an open mic for speeches. Many school students who had never spoken in front of crowds before took the chance to speak.
One of them, Will, said he had only heard of the march yesterday.He said it was fantastic to march with so many people but, “It’s sobering to realise that the people who don’t really care and who are only about money are the ones who we still end up keeping in power.
“I’m disappointed that people haven’t got them out yet.”
Another school student who had never spoken before said, “We can keep up what we’re doing and we’ll be able to save the planet.”
One marcher, Sara, told Socialist Worker that this had been her first climate strike march. “It’s amazing that there’s so many people here,” she said. “I never heard about the others before they happened. When I found out about this one I knew I had to come because we need to provoke change.”
Cambridge saw its biggest climate protest to date, reports Tom Woodcock
Several thousand people rallied at the county hall for speeches led entirely by school students.
Delegations from many public sector unions were present including a well organised block of student doctors, lecturers from the university and FE as well as representatives from teaching unions and council staff.
There were significant organised groups of charity workers such as Greenpeace, The RSPB and Flora and Fauna International, where the workplaces had been closed for the day.
Many others had left work for the day of their own accord.
A march then shut down the town centre as numbers were swelled by workers leaving their offices to join the protests.
A co-ordinated “die in” filled the entire street and lawns in front of the famous King’s College.
School and college students spoke again to the crowd about their frustration with politicians and of their desire to carry on until the fight against climate change was won.
School students across Tower Hamlets in east London took part in actions today, writes Sheila McGregor.
Fifty students from St Paul’s Way school marched and spoke at a rally in Altab Ali park.
Later there was sit-down at Bethnal Green tube
In Bristol there is a carnival atmosphere on College Green, as people listen to music, speeches and relax before the next action of the day after their march around the city.
They plan to protest at the Fountains from 5pm as people leave work.
Some workers have already joined the school students. Lucas, a young IT worker from nearby Bath, told Socialist Worker, “Big business has so much power and money holds so much sway.
“Look at Boris Johnson—he gets paid £200,000 for his Telegraph column by the Barclay brothers.”
But Lucas argued that “bringing people together and making a ruckus” can force action on climate change. “Bringing the city to a standstill here is affecting the micro economy,” he said. “It will make businesses think.”
In Bristol one of the most popular chants is, “This is what democracy looks like.”
Sophie, a first time school striker, told Socialist Worker, “We’ve only got a few years and we can’t go back.
“People need to take responsibility and do something.”
At least 7,000 people marched through Brighton and Hove as trade unionists joined school students and many others.
UCU union members at Brighton University and University of Sussex walked out for the afternoon, and Brighton & Hove city council Unison and NEU members brought banners.
Some shops closed their doors as a festival mood swept the city.
Several thousand people joined the school student strike in Victoria Square in Birmingham. Overwhelmingly young it was noisy and vibrant.
As we marched they sang “This is what democracy looks like”.
Not content with one march when we returned to the square from the first march they set off out the other way for a second.
More than 2,000 people marched through the centre of Plymouth to a die-in and people’s assembly, reports Tony Staunton.
School students and college and university students marched from the top of town and a trade union march joined them from the other direction.
Trade union banners and flags attended including PCS, RMT, Unison, Unite, GMB and the Plymouth Trades Union Council.
Extinction Rebellion distributed leaflets advertising the October Rebellion and coaches from Plymouth to London for the 7 October rebellion and the 12 October trade union day of convergence at Westminster.
Around 5,000 people marched in Sheffield from Devonshire Green to Barker’s Pool.
In Manchester members of the Unite union’s NW389 charity workers’ branch marched chanting “Seize the banks, reclaim the wealth – spend it on the planet’s health.”
One of them, Ali, told Socialist Worker, “Climate change is a workers’ issue. It’s really important workers join this and create that change.
“We’ve never experienced a just transition, and it’s also important that includes good, unionised jobs.”
Michael Coates came with a delegation from the UCU union at Manchester Metropolitan university.
He said UCU and Unison at both universities in Manchester had pressured managers into allowing workers to take time off to join the protest.
“UCU has been instrumental in supporting action for the climate,” he told Socialist Worker.
“It’s the young people taking the lead and it’s important that we give them encouragement by being here.”
Mike Killian brought ten workers from his workplace, Transport For Greater Manchester.
“It’s a good start,” he said. “It’s the largest we’ve had so far on any of these.
“With the other unions from around Manchester, we have to go back and build this to be bigger – use the enthusiasm of the members that we’ve got here, to build it to something bigger in our workplaces, and spread it to other workplaces and branches.”
In Salford around 300 people joined a rally outside the civic centre, including school students and members of the Salford City Unison union branch who handed out wristbands saying “System change not climate change”.
Around 15-20 Salford council workers then travelled to join the march in Manchester – some by bicycle.
Ameen Hadi from Salford City Unison told Socialist Worker, “It’s a really good start from our branch – but I think we can do better next time. When people see how big this is they’ll want to be part of it.”
Simon, also from Salford City Unison, said it was good the union had got managers to let workers join the protests. “It shows what you can do with a strong union,” he said.
Up to 1,000 people made a “big noise” at 1pm outside Hackney town hall in east London today.
Earlier a rally heard students and teachers from several schools plus hospital and council workers, community groups, charities and others.
Hackney’s mayor, Philip Glanville, also spoke.
All spoke about the need to protest and fight to force governments to take action to stop climate change.
There are huge numbers in Edinburgh, with some reports of 15,000 at the rally.
Around 2,500 have rallied in Newcastle.
There were 2,000 at a rally in Norwich and a march around the city centre. A local independent bookshop gave out free copies of Greta Thunberg’s little book of speeches.
Trade unionists, Greenpeace,and XR Lincolnshire joined over 100 school student strikers in Lincoln city centre.
Strikers from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) joined the London rally.
Hospital workers at UCLH in central London came out of work to show their support for action over climate change.
Over 200 youth strikers and adult supporters took over the road to march to a lively rally in Scarborough town centre. A people’s assembly demanded the council back up its declaration of climate emergency by real action.
“We see this as the beginning. It will be harder for union leaders to ignore us now,” said Unison member Frank.
Up to 300 people took part in a strike rally in Windrush Square in Brixton in south London.
Workers from Lambeth council had been given permission to leave work and join the protest after pressure from unions.
They were met by primary pupils who are part of a local school‘s “school council” and had come to participate in the rally.
The demonstration heard from trade unionists from NEU, Unite, Unison, GMB and others.
An Extinction Rebellion speaker argued for workers to take part in the October Rebellion and to argue for more strike days.
In Lowestoft around 100 people joined the lunchtime rally in the town centre. A lively contingent of school students led off the chanting.
The crowd was addressed by delegations from trade unionists in the GMB union at Asda, the FBU and the trades council.
School students addressed the crowd demanding action now. The biggest cheer went up for a call to bring down the government. This was the largest, youngest and most exciting protest seen in Lowestoft for years.
Around 400 workers came out of work to join a lunchtime rally in Camden, north London, organised by Camden council Unison union.
People came from nearby newspaper offices, an architecture firm, a local college and the council offices.
And a smaller group later travelled to join the protest in central London following a rally.
Adejare, a Unison member, told Socialist Worker, “The political leaders are not realising the reality. We need to leave the world fit for the younger ones to live.
“They are partly in denial and also they only do what suits their own political purpose.
“We need more of these kinds of protests. They can put pressure on. They are very important to let them know that there are people in the world who actually care.”
Council officials and representatives of other unions and parties spoke at the rally, including Green Party co-leader Sian Berry.
Liz Wheatley, branch secretary of Camden Unison, told the rally, “We’re making history.”
She said people often saw change as coming through key individuals, such as Martin Luther King. But she said, “He couldn’t have done it without hundreds of thousands of other people.
“We can change the world.”
Rachel was with a dozen workers from Piercy Company, an architecture firm. She told Socialist Worker, “Our company is trying to be more sustainable, as a company that builds.
“We wanted to come because this is nearby as it’s a way we can show our support. Our office was quite flexible in letting some of us go.”
A Unite union member and journalist told Socialist Worker, “I’m here because I want to take part in a larger movement. And to try and get more visibility for the issue.
Around 200 people, the vast majority of them young, rallied in Falcon Square, Inverness. There was a mass die-in at 1pm. There were speakers from Highland & Islands Students Association, and school students as young as nine years old.
Thousands of people are massing around Parliament Square in London.
The biggest cheers at the rally consistently came when speakers railed against the wider injustices of the system.
Protesters screamed their agreement when one student striker called for “a genuinely radical climate justice”.
Executive Director at War on Want Asad Rehman drew roars of approval when he told the crowd that “big business has put profit before the very right to life.”
He told protesters they weren’t there to “save this world” based on inequality and exploitation.
“We’re here to tear down this old world and build a new one.
“You have sent a message of hope to every corner of the world that we have power on our side, truth on our side and our love for humanity is more powerful than their greed.”
John walked from his workplace at the National Theatre with his colleagues, including his director.
They held placards recycled from old stage sets.
He told Socialist Worker that the theatre was becoming more environmentally conscious.
“One thing we’re talking about now is moving away from funding from the petroleum industry.
“In every production we’re trying to reuse and recycle bits of set and costumes and we’re replacing old parts of lighting rigs with more efficient LED bulbs. So from the top to the bottom we’re thinking about it.”
Mike from Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners called the battle against climate catastrophe “the most important campaign in human history”.
He called for a “Green New Deal to provide jobs not just in the UK but across the world.”
“This fight is like no other one before us,” he said.
“For almost two hundred years it’s been bosses versus labour, rich versus poor. The fight has changed now because it’s capitalism versus all life on earth.”
Ten year old Sam enjoyed his first protest with his brother James.
“I’ve liked seeing people’s signs that they’ve made. But I’m worried about what’s going to happen in 30 years time.”
About 300 people of all ages are out supporting the school students in Derby. Speakers ranged from primary school kids to grannies and environmental activists to trades unionists. The speeches were followed by a loud spontaneous march through the city centre chanting, “Whose future? Our future” and “System change not climate change”.
Well over 2,500 people have joined the rally in York, 500 in Southampton and 3,000 in Oxford.
Around 1,500 people of all ages including at least eight school delegations plus banners and placards from the Unison union and a local housing association have filled Castle Square Gardens in Swansea, reports Huw Pudner.
Several hundred protesters led by a samba band snaked through central Walthamstow, east London, from town hall to town square.
And in Llanelli social services workers in the Unison union have joined the action.
Delegations of trade unionists have swelled the ranks of the rally and march in Manchester, now well over 1,000 strong.
Hundreds of students from the universities also marched to join in.
Rena, a member of the Unison union, said Manchester council had allowed workers to take time off to join the rally as long as they informed their manager first.
“Climate change is one of the most important issues in the world, and that’s the view of our union,” she told Socialist Worker.
“It’s really encouraging that young people are fighting, and it’s important that we show our solidarity.”
The demonstration is now marching around the city centre.
Over 6,000 school strikers and climate campaigners are marching through Bristol in the biggest demonstration the city has seen for years.
They are chanting, “Climate justice—now,” and, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, climate change has got to go.”
There is lots of anger at politicians’ inaction from first-time strikers. Ollie, a secondary school student, came with a homemade placard, saying, “I’ve seen better cabinets in Ikea.” He told Socialist Worker, “I saw lots of stuff on social media and thought this is my chance to do something.”
“They have to do something.”
Other students, like Eve, have been striking since February. “I think Extinction Rebellion have played a really big role in raising awareness,” she told Socialist Worker.
Many argue for both politicians to take action and individuals to make changes in the here and now. Eve said, “On a government level there needs to be higher taxes on things that are bad for the environment.
“They need to help people who work in those industries to get new skills, it wouldn’t be fair to just shut them.”
A lot of placards point the finger at the fossil fuel companies and other multinationals.
Oliver, who is on his third school strike, told Socialist Worker, “The big corporations have control.”
Climate protesters are on the streets across the world.
Organisers of the climate march in Berlin, Germany, say that already some 80,000 people have crammed into the city centre to protest.
A small but noisy crowd gathered in the financial district of Sandton, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Some protested outside the offices of Sasol, a huge South African energy and chemical company.
Natalie Kapsosideris, 16, said, “We don’t really have a way out of this. The future looks really dismal at this point. There’s not going to be a lot of food available, there will be droughts, floods, natural disasters.
“The fact that Sasol gets away with stealing our future away from us … and it’s all because they want to make money.”
In the Indian capital New Delhi hundreds of students are blocking the road near Lodhi Gardens, chanting, “What do we want climate justice.”
Activists in the United States say they are hoping for some of the biggest ever demonstrations ever seen in the country.
Dozens of students and workers from the UCU and Unison unions walked out at Soas University of London for a rally on the steps.
The Soas board announced it was supporting a declaration of a climate emergency.
At the rally an open letter from UCU, Unison and Soas student union was read saying that Soas’s support was an opportunity for the university to take responsibility for its role in the climate chaos taking place in the global south.
The letter asked that SOAS divest from companies such as Unilever who contribute to the crisis. The unions also demand that Soas makes an institutional commitment to carbon free sustainable energy by 2030.
Some students taking part went on to join student protests in Central London.
At Cardiff’s rally there were speakers from trade unions, environmental groups, and students, reports Hussein Said.
One student said, “Every person in this protest has to fight against climate change. I am skipping school today because if I am studying something that may not even happen in the future because of climate change, then what is the point.
“We want a future, too. We want our grandchildren and children to grow up in an environment where they can trust their government.”
Another student got the crowd to chant, “Tick tock! Tick tock!”
Another student, aged 13, said, “If you’re not worried you’re not paying attention. But I am hopeful that from the number of people here, we can change things.”
Hundreds of workers have gathered outside Camden council offices in London.
Workers have walked out at SOAS university of London and ten transport staff have walked out in Manchester for the climate
Tens of thousands of people across Britain are joining rallies today.
There are up to 3,000 in Nottingham, over 2,000 in Cardiff, around 800 in Portsmouth and hundreds in Leicester.
Thousands of students and workers, including delegations of health workers, firefighters, Oxford University workers and council workers are on the Oxford march.
John Marshall, IT tutor for Heeley Trust, was part of a feeder march from his workplace to the huge Sheffield demonstration today. Heeley Trust, a community organisation, closed down in support of the protest.
He said, “It’s great how these protests have galvanised young people into saving the planet. I hope it inspires many more people to respond to the crisis.
“Many of us have been knocked back by the crushing of trade unions and more over the years but our young people have given us hope.”
Workers from the Kestrel Centre learning disability service in Portsmouth are supporting the climate strike. Some will be covering duty to allow a delegation to attend the lunchtime rally in Portsmouth Guildhall Square.
A large Friends of the Earth delegation arrived, with many people holding placards saying “take back tomorrow”.
A protester who worked in sustainable design and construction said that watching the school students’ movement has been “amazing and really inspiring.”
“We often underestimate kids and don’t realise how tuned in they are. I think climate change is giving a lot of them anxiety as well.
“They’re going to have to deal with it. The people making these rules are going to be dead in 20 years.”
Only 15 minutes after the start time of the demonstration the street was full from Lambeth Bridge to the Houses of Parliament.
Anna Taylor, co-founder of the UK Student Climate Network addressed the crowd from an open top bus.
“We will take to the streets again and again until they agree to our demands.
“While we stand here afraid for our future, it’s important to remember that people are already dying.
“I’m sick of living in a system created by white capitalist men who satiate their addiction to power and control by oppressing minorities.
“I want to send a message to the government. We are not going to stand for their bullshit excuses any longer.
“The time for talking is over.”
Around 1,000 people are now gathered outside Manchester Central Library.
Alan Jay, who works at Oldham Council, joined the rally with a Unison union flag.
“I’ve taken time off in lieu to be here,” he told Socialist Worker. “Oldham council has called a climate emergency. But they haven’t allowed people time off to join the rally and because of the way employment law works, my union can only take action over employment issues – not issues of existential crisis.
“That’s one of the absurdities of this – that I’ve had to fight to go unpaid and take time off work.”
“I want to explore with my union what we can do to get more members to the next one – and even if we can eventually have a ballot.”
He added, “It’s important trade unions are part of this because there are a huge number of people who have just as much interest in continuing to exist as anyone else.
“Trade unions have always fought for quality of life. And that’s what this is about really. If everything that’s predicted happens, everyone’s quality of life is going to be much worse.Withdrawing labour is one of the best ways to get policy makers to notice and take action.”
Labour MP Rebecca Long-Bailey told the rally, “The same people who unloaded the cost of the bankers’ crisis on the backs of the poor will unload the financial and human cost of the climate crisis onto the most vulnerable.”
Martin Empson told the rally, “I know this will be the biggest day of action by trade unions on this issue we’ve ever seen. And it’s all down to the students who’ve inspired them.”
Labour mayor for Greater Manchester Andy Burnham also spoke. But he had to respond to heckles from the crowd by people demanding more investment in public transport, and who pointed out many councils in Greater Manchester have investments in Manchester airport.
He passed some of the blame onto the government for not providing enough funding to Greater Manchester.
He also said, “You’re right to challenge us,” he said. “We’ve failed to act quickly enough and I include myself in that.”
More people were expected to join the rally in the afternoon, including students from the university. It’s then set to march from 1pm.
Thousands of strikers, mainly school students, have gathered on College Green in Bristol where speeches have begun before a march around the city.
Max Czekalski, a school striker from Manchester, said to loud cheers that they would “vote out every single climate denier out of their jobs” and replace them with people who won’t “sell the future to billionaires”.
He called on people to shut down fossil fuel companies and “replace them with renewable energy”.
Steve Melio, an Extinction Rebellion (XR) activist, said, “After a lifetime of obeying the law and paying taxes, I decided to join XR.
“Starting on 7 October XR will be back in central London and this time we will target government buildings and events linked with the fossil fuel industry.”
Send off at Stratford in east London this morning for Newham and Redbridge school students and teachers on strike today for the climate.
There are very big numbers of people in Parliament Square. People are spilling over onto Westminster Bridge. There is a huge queue just to enter the park where the protest is supposed to be held.
Parents from South East London with around 150 young children have arrived in Westminster and are heading to the demonstration.
School strikers have begun gathering on College Green in Bristol ahead of a march at 12 noon. They have come from a secondary and primary schools across the city.
Jonah, a school striker, told Socialist Worker, “I started to realise how serious the problem is last year and got involved with the first strike.
“I’ve also been involved with blocking Waterloo Bridge with Extinction Rebellion in London and stuff in Bristol.”
Jonah said both governments and people have to act on climate change. “There’s got to be legislation and globally there’s got to be action of corporations that are polluting,” he said.
“We’ve also got to make changes in our daily lives.”
Postal workers in the CWU union from East Oxford District Office held a gate meeting early this morning in solidarity with the climate strike.
By 11am at least a couple of thousand people had gathered in Broad Street outside Balliol College, reports Pat Carmody.
People have started to assemble near Millbank Tower for the central London rally organised by the UK Schools Climate Network (UKSCN).
Daisy is “a little bit nervous but definitely more excited” to be on her first climate strike.
“I’m here because it’s important—we realise that education is important but the government needs to wake up. The climate is changing and it needs to be in the headlines,” she said.
“It’s so important this is led by young people because they are written off as bratty and as not knowing what they’re doing.”
School friends Darcey, Skye and Natasha travelled to the rally together.
Darcey said the day was about “making a statement”.
“We want the government to change regulations to do with climate change. And we want to deepen the understanding of how to change it.”
The strikers had come with a homemade placard bearing the title of band The 1975’s new album, which has a track featuring Greta Thunberg.
“Lots of fans will listen to this music and trust them,” said Skye.
“It involves our generation and makes you feel involved,” she said.
“I’m looking forward to the strike rally where we’re going to be in a big crowd with our sign shouting what we want.
Hundreds of people – mostly school students – gathered for a rally outside Manchester Central Library well before its official start time of 10am.
There are activities throughout the day including music and a march around the city centre from 1pm.
School strike organiser Emma told Socialist Worker, “It’s bigger than we expected. The most we’ve had was 700 people in April. This already looks like it will be even bigger.”
She added, “We’ve got more adults coming and that’s going to make it bigger, and more united.
“If we’ve got everyone in society along for it, it’s going to have a much bigger impact than school students or any other group in society can have on their own.”
Several hundred people are gathered outside Waltham Forest town hall in east London in support of the climate strike.
They will march to the central town square for a rally at 11:30am, reports Ken Olende.
School striker Sophia Spring told Socialist Worker, “I think we all have someone to strike for. I’m 13, but I still have people younger than me. My sister is three and this is her world too.”
Lesley Finlayson from Unite Community said, “Today is important, we’re following the children. “I’m 59 and if you’d told me ten years ago I’d be on a protest like this I’d have laughed at you.I’ve learned so much. Now I’m also protesting against benefit changes and against racism.”
Some 30 people joined an early morning protest at Derriford roundabout in Plymouth with members of the Unite, PCS and Unison unions coming from the local hospital, council and Land Registry office, reports Tony Staunton.
They were joined by school students from the local academy. Marches by students and trade unionists from two directions will converge in Plymouth city centre at 12:30 for a die-in and public people’s assembly.
About half the UCU union branch turned out to rally at the main gate at Writtle University College, Essex, in the first event of its kind anyone can remember there, reports Michael Szpakowski
Passing cars hooted support and the event was enlivened by the presence of an 8 year old climate striker. Everyone felt it was a great start and a marker for future events and actions.
Tory ministers have lined up to oppose schools students walking out for the climate. Schools minister Nick Gibb said children should not miss school to protest.
He said, “We want is for the next generation to be as well educated as possible to tackle these kinds of problems, and you don’t do that by missing out on an education.”
Minister for business, energy and clean growth Kwasi Kwarteng told said,“I am not going to endorse people leaving school.”
Protesters from Extinction Rebellion (XR) gathered from before 9am at The Strand in central London.
The XR universities group is demanding that institutions “tell the truth” about climate change.
Ben, a school teacher, said he was striking to join the action. “I’m here because of the environmental and ecological crisis,” he told SW.
“We are still emitting more CO2 than we should be and the ice caps are melting. I’m on strike today to highlight that the whole system needs to change.”
Ben said he thought this change can come about through more “mobilisations” of people. “Things like today have a big impact,” he said.
“The FT did videos and articles about XR events. We are pushing climate change up the agenda.”
The XR Universities event at King’s College is the first called by the group. It will involve workshops and other events on the climate crisis and wider issues.
Katherine, a student at Goldsmiths University, told Socialist Worker that students are “very excited” to be part of the movement.
“It’s important to have an XR and student presence today,” she added. “It’s important that we are not silenced.
“Today is about being the change, not just making demands.
Across Britain there are plans for workplace action today. This will be a big boost to the climate movement. We expect there to be strikes, walkouts, demonstrations and other protests.
Heath workers at the Bristol Royal Infirmary are leafleting outside the hospital this morning and then plan to join the school strikers’ demonstration on College Green.
Suzi, a Unite union member, told Socialist Worker, “We’re petitioning to get the hospital to declare a climate emergency.
“We’ve had a fantastic response from health workers.”
Unite union assistant general secretary Steve Turner tweeted today, “It’s not just an issue for young people, it’s an issue for all generations and for us as trade unionists. So whatever you can do today to show support for those taking action DO IT!”
Hundreds of thousands of people have already poured out of workplaces and schools to join the historic global climate strike.
In Australia, many cities are reporting their biggest mobilisation since 2003’s demonstrations against the Iraq War.
In Sydney and Melbourne the crowds were so big there were queues to get to the starting point. In Tasmania, 22,000 strikers rallied together—which organisers say makes it the biggest protest the region has ever seen.
The third nationwide mobilisation in Australia has been the biggest yet.
Many shops have shut for the day, and trade unionists from the maritime, education, manufacturing and electrical unions joined rallies throughout Australia.
Hundreds of dockers and ship workers—members of the Maritime Union of Australia— struck for four hours to attend the climate strike rally.
They were joined by strikers from Fenner Dunlop—a firm that manufactures conveyor belts for the coal mining industry.
“We need to create future industries with good, well-paid union jobs for workers like me to move into,” said John Williams, a strikers’ rep.
Children in the Solomon Islands held placards bearing the slogan, “We are not sinking, we are fighting”.
In the Philippines school strikers rallied outside the Commission on Human Rights, and in Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, a die-in was held outside the environment ministry.
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