Mya-Rose ‘Birdgirl’ Craig was pictured alone on an ice floe holding a placard reading “Youth Strike for Climate”

Fridays for Future: School strikers are back

From the Arctic to South Africa, Australia to India, thousands of mainly young people took action on 25 September to highlight the climate emergency – the first Fridays for Future protest since the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

In Sweden, movement founder Greta Thunberg was pictured in a socially distanced demonstration.

“In Sweden gatherings over 50 people are not allowed due to COVID-19, so we adapt,”, she tweeted.

It was the 110th school strike since she began her lonely vigil outside parliament in Stockholm in August 2018, when she was 15. The movement then ballooned, culminating in at least six million people taking part in a week of action in September 2019.

The pandemic has put a stop to the mass street protests that saw kids flood city centres and provincial towns alike with impassioned and creative pleas for a new direction.

Nonetheless, strikes took place in some 3,500 cities in 154 countries, Fridays for Future reported, with participants finding innovative ways to get their message heard while respecting the restrictions imposed by the virus.

Nowhere was that more evident than in the Arctic, where British-Bangladeshi teenager – and ardent ornithologist – Mya-Rose ‘Birdgirl’ Craig was pictured alone on an ice floe holding a placard reading “Youth Strike for Climate”.

She had arrived in the region with a Greenpeace team on a month-long expedition examining marine life and the impact of the climate crisis.

In Japan and elsewhere, activists displayed pairs of shoes to demonstrate that even though they could not protest in person, they were still taking a stand on the issue.

“Japan is still taking small steps,” said student Mutsumi Kurobe, 19, outside the National Diet (parliament) in Tokyo.

Many activists suggested the international response to the coronavirus crisis showed that concerted and collaborative action could make a difference.

“The pandemic has shown us that politicians have the power to act quickly and consistently with the best available science,” said Eric Damien, from Fridays For Future Kenya.

Featured photo credits : Daniella Zalcman / Greenpeace
In post photo credits : Fridays for Future

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