Jun 082019
We can’t stave off global heating by ourselves.
Together, on 20 September, we can unleash mass resistance
School students protest against the climate crisis in Melbourne, May 2019

School students protest against the climate crisis in Melbourne, May 2019. Photograph: William West/AFP/Getty Images

Tomorrow, schoolchildren and students will be out on the streets again, in huge numbers, in 150 countries, at over 4,000 events, demanding that governments immediately provide a safe pathway to stay within 1.5C of global heating. We spent weeks and months preparing for this day. We spent uncountable hours organising and mobilising when we could have just hung out with our friends or studied for school.

We don’t feel like we have a choice: it’s been years of talking, countless negotiations, empty deals on climate change and fossil fuel companies being given free rides to drill beneath our soils and burn away our futures for their profit. Politicians have known about climate change for decades. They have willingly handed over their responsibility for our future to profiteers whose search for quick cash threatens our very existence.

We have learned that if we don’t start acting for our future, nobody else will make the first move. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Once again our voices are being heard on the streets, but it is not just up to us. We feel a lot of adults haven’t quite understood that we young people won’t hold off the climate crisis ourselves. Sorry if this is inconvenient for you. But this is not a single-generation job. It’s humanity’s job. We young people can contribute to a larger fight and that can make a huge difference.

So this is our invitation. Starting on Friday 20 September we will kickstart a week of climate action with a worldwide strike for the climate. We’re asking adults to step up alongside us. There are many different plans under way in different parts of the world for adults to join together and step up and out of your comfort zone for our climate. Let’s all join together, with your neighbours, co-workers, friends, family and go out on to the streets to make your voices heard and make this a turning point in our history.

This is about crossing lines – it’s about rebelling wherever one can rebel. It’s not about saying “Yeah, what the kids do is great, if I was young I would have totally joined in.” It doesn’t help, but everyone can and must help.

During the French revolution mothers flooded the streets for their children. Today we children are fighting for ourselves, but so many of our parents are busy discussing whether our grades are good, or a new diet or what happened in the Game of Thrones finale – while the planet burns.

This moment has to happen. Last year’s UN intergovernmental panel on climate change’s special report on global warming was clear about the unprecedented dangers of going beyond 1.5C of global heating. Emissions must drop rapidly – so that by the time we are in our mid- and late-20s we are living in a completely transformed world.

But to change everything, we need everyone. It is time for all of us to unleash mass resistance – we have shown that collective action does work. We need to escalate the pressure to make sure that change happens, and we must escalate together.

So this is our chance – join us on climate strike this September. People have risen up before to demand action and make change; if we do so in numbers we have a chance. If we care, we must do more than say we do. We must act. This won’t be the last day we need to take to the streets, but it will be a new beginning. We’re counting on you.

Greta Thunberg, Kyra Gantois, Luisa Neubauer, Eslem Demirel, Vanessa Nakate, Noga Levy-Rappoport, Isra Hirsi, Zhang Tingwei, Angela Valenzuela, Martial Breton, Nurul Fitrah Marican, Asees Kandhari, Jessica Dewhurst, Alexandria Villasenor, Jonas Kampus, George Bond, Lena Bühler, Kallan Benson, Linus Dolder, Beth Irving, Zel Whiting, Marenthe Middelhoff, Lubna Wasim, Radhika Castle, Parvez Patel, Wu Chun-Hei, Anjali Pant, Tristan Vanoni, Luca Salis, Brian Wallang, Anisha George, Hiroto Inoue, Haven Coleman, Maddy Fernands, Bhavreen Malhotra Kandhari, Feliquan Charlemagne, Salomée Levy, Karla Stephan, Anya Sastry, Claudio Ramirez Betancourt, Vicente Gamboa Soto, Julia Weder, Lilly Platt, Balder Claassen, Kassel Hingee, Maria Astefanoaei and Pavol Mulinka are youth activists for Fridays for Future

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