“My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 16 years old. I come from Sweden. And I speak for future generations.” Environmental activist, Greta, began her strike in August 2018 when she skipped school to sit outside the Swedish Parliament. She was protesting against her government’s lack of action on the climate crisis. Soon, other students joined her and began the “School Strike for Climate” on Fridays. News of her movement quickly spread through the media and inspired other young people to do the same; the Fridays for Future movement was born. Students everywhere started to skip school on Fridays like Greta and protest in their own towns and cities. At first the young people were criticised because they didn’t attend school – but their answer was simple; why study for a future which may not be there?

After a summer with record breaking temperatures, the protests of the #FridaysForFuture movement are back. The first school strike is Friday 20th September, when school children, students and their teachers will be asking for a safer future. The event signals the start of a global week of action (20th-27th September) with another mass strike on Friday 27th September. This week was chosen to correspond with two important events: World Clean Up Day on 21st September and the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on 23rd September. Changes to the climate are causing extreme weather conditions and creating problems for people and wildlife. It’s time to do something to help. Just because you are still at school, it doesn’t mean your voice can’t be heard.

 

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Illustration by Franco Rivolli, taken from Rain, Rain Go Away, by Nicola Prentis, Reading & Training Step Three (B1.2)