The Best Signs From The School Strike 4 Climate Global Day Of Action
Students gathered outside ScoMo’s house in Sydney to say their piece.
School students gathered in front of one of Scott Morrison’s official residences on Friday to protest the Federal Government’s lacklustre climate commitments.
Police and organisers for School Strike 4 Climate estimated that over 1000 people showed up outside Kirribilli House near Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of the Global Day of Action. More than 30 actions took place across Australia, with a focus on preventing any more new oil and gas projects, First Nations led climate solutions, and transition support for fossil fuel workers into alternative industries.
“Australia was singled out this week by the UN Secretary-General as a climate ‘holdout’. Scott Morrison claims to have a climate plan, but he is a spin doctor and a liar, not a real leader,” said 17-year-old Natasha Abhayawickrama, who MC’d the Sydney protest.
“The Morrison government brags about funding new fossil fuel projects while our communities are getting smashed by escalating climate disasters,” she said. “He funds climate disaster relief on the basis of who people vote for, and then has the audacity to claim that climate disaster survivors are politicising the issue.”
High school, primary, and university students were joined by activists, union groups, and accompanied children to form a united sea of uniforms huddled in the cul-de-sac where the Prime Minister enjoys the city’s best water views.
“I don’t know if he can hear me, but he can’t hide when we’re right on his fucking door step,” said a speaker to the crowd, calling attention to a proposed Narrabri coal seam gas project by Santos around the Piliga State Forest in NSW.
The protesters were also angered by a recent decision by the Morrison Government to use taxpayer money to appeal a ruling that the Environment Minister has a duty of care to young people and their future, as well as the lack of discussion around the Lismore floods and climate change.
“I’m terrified for my future, and the future of all of us, when we have leaders who won’t lead us in the right direction…”
Ella O’Dwyer-Oshlack had seen her school and home get wrecked by the floodwater, after having to evacuate at 2am with little notice earlier this month, off the back of recent bushfires, and 2017 floods as well.
“I can’t even live with my mum or brother anymore,” she said to the crowds. “This is totally devastating and I miss my friends a lot. This mega flood is an extreme weather event and the largest one in Lismore on record. It is a climate disaster.”
“And he didn’t even have the guts to talk to us when he visited Lismore. He went and mopped a basketball court that already looked clean,” the 13-year-old dragged. “You should’ve come to my house to mop because we really needed it, and the extra help would’ve been nice!”
“What’s even scarier still is that we have a government that continues to promote the mining and burning of fossil fuels despite what the science and victims of these events say,” she said. “I’m terrified for my future, and the future of all of us, when we have leaders who won’t lead us in the right direction.”
Using humour and anger to process their emotions, the protesters came armed with witty, meme-filled signs scrawled on the back of recycled cardboard that ripped into the Prime Minister almost as hard as he does to their future.