June 14th, 2019
Ireland’s teenage climate activists have announced a new date for a national student strike to highlight the issue of climate change.
In concert with other student activists in several European cities, Irish schoolchildren will hold a new nationwide climate strike on June 21.
Fridays for Future, an organising group for teenage climate revolt in Ireland, has said that the new protest is part of a “series of demonstrations happening over the summer”.
Beth Doherty, an active, 16-year-old climate activist from Dublin, said that the end of the school year would not signify an end to the movement, even though the youth protest is rooted in the notion of striking from class to highlight the threat of climate change.
“This movement doesn’t stop with the school year the same way climate breakdown doesn’t stop when it’s inconvenient for politicians to talk about it,” Ms Doherty said.
Ms Doherty said that summer protests would send a strong message to politicians who have criticised student activism as a ploy to avoid school. “Politicians dismiss young people, dismiss the movement, this isn’t an excuse to skip school,” she said.
“We come out every Friday, we’ll come out every summer, and we’ll come out until our futures are safe.”
Referring to the recent declaration of a climate and biodiversity emergency by the Dail, Theo Cullen-Mouze from Clare Island said that student activists are “determined” to make “politicians and our Government follow through on their words”.
“You can’t declare an emergency and continue business as usual. That’s not how emergencies work,” Mr Cullen-Mouze said.
Fridays for Future has also said that since the recent state of climate emergency declared by the Government, politicians have shown what the group described as “allergic” symptoms to “anything resembling tangible action on climate breakdown”.
Calling on student activists across Ireland to act, the group said that Irish students refuse to accept the “flagrant denial of the urgency of the climate crisis” reflected in politicians’ behaviour.
The group stated that it would announce all the dates for its slated summer climate rallies shortly. The student climate revolt is inspired by pioneering climate activist Greta Thunberg, whose refusal to attend school on Friday and instead protest outside the Swedish Parliament instead.
Thunberg’s act of civil disobedience has influenced millions of children around the world to do the same.