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      Students Lead The Struggle
      Worldwide Student Climate Strike Shows Its (Green) Power

      By Thomas Davies

      March 15 was another important step forward for the worldwide climate justice movement, as an estimated 1.6 million young people from 123 countries skipped school as part of the “Fridays for Future” global student climate strike. The protests began when Greta Thunberg, 16, began skipping school to strike in front of Sweden’s parliament in August. Soon students across the world began to follow her example in what became the Fridays for Future movement.

      Many cities and towns across Canada participated as well. An estimated 150,000 went on strike across Quebec, with some circling their campuses and cancelling morning classes. In Vancouver, Climate Convergence participated in a rally in downtown Vancouver organized by “Sustainabiliteens”. Over 1000 students probably set the record for the fastest paced march ever in Vancouver, as they charged to the Vancouver office of Environment and Climate Change Canada office to demand the government do more than just use “Climate Justice” as a catchy slogan.

      In a letter to the Guardian newspaper, Thunberg and other protesters said their basic demands are, “keep fossil fuels in the ground, phase out subsidies for dirty energy production, seriously invest in renewables and start asking difficult questions about how we structure our economies and who is set to win and who is set to lose.”

      The fact that these protests have grown so rapidly is a good indication of what is yet to come in the climate justice movement. As the situation becomes more drastic, those with the least to gain and the most to lose from the status quo, are rising up. Their energy and urgency are undeniable. Signs and banners demanding, “System Change Not Climate Change” are a common sight across the globe. These initiatives led by young people should be supported and welcomed into the overall global climate justice movement.

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