No doubt you know about the School Strike for Climate. You might have been one of the thousands of students who skipped school to head along but even if you didn't, you couldn't miss all the news reports and coverage of the rallies around the globe.
The School Strike for Climate rallies were part of a global movement sparked by the lone protest of 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg last year. Locally students have been demanding the brakes are put on Queensland’s Adani coal mine, no new coal or gas mines and a 100% renewable energy goal by 2030.
When we asked you guys on Instagram what you thought about the whole thing, a massive 90% of you supported the rallies with only 10% against it.
Things got interesting when we asked you why you did or didn't back the rallies and there was a real mix of answers.
A tonne of you thought that this was a way to show the power of young people and get involved in something that the 'adults' around us weren't dealing with. Others thought this was a way of speaking up since a lot of us aren't old enough to vote yet.
On the flip side, some of you were against the whole thing and had an opposing view.
Interesting stuff, eh?
So, it's clear there's a variety of opinions out there but the majority of young people are backing the strike. Wherever you stand, you can't deny the Youth Climate Strike got people talking and there's nothing better than seeing young people get out there and forcing the older generations to actually listen to us.
To help you get a bit of a better idea of the rally, the sheer scale of it and what it all means, we chatted with Imogen Holly, who is a member of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and headed up one of the marches in Melbourne.
Could you give a bit of background to the organisation of the march and the youth climate movement in Melbourne?
In December of 2018 an organisation called the Australian Youth Climate Coalition bought a bunch of students together from around Victoria, who were keen to organise the next Melbourne School Strike for Climate set to take place on March 15th this year. Over four months, a team of roughly ten students planned everything from the logistics and accessibility of the strike, to the promotion and coordination of media.
It was all worth it for the incredible turnout of 50,000 people striking in Melbourne. Pretty legendary stuff!
If you could explain in just one sentence, why should we march?
It’s an injustice in our society that the generations who will be most hurt by the decisions made by our current government have no voice in those decisions.
What is the next step for the youth movement in tackling these issues?
With the federal election coming up, there’s a huge opportunity for the youth of Australia to put pressure on our leaders in government to make sure that climate change is at the top of their agendas. The government has a hard job, but it’s our job to make them see the importance of our future.
In short–what can we do to help?
Firstly, educate yourself! Read the news, watch a documentary, or talk to your mates. Secondly, do something! Volunteer with an environmental organisation, meet with your local MP, show up at a protest, or share something on Facebook. There has never been a better time to do something.
Interview and images by Clem McNabb