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March 11, 2019 | by  | in News |
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School Climate Strike in Wellington Receives Mixed Responses

School students in Wellington are planning to ‘strike’ from school on March 15 to protest political inaction on climate change.

The movement is part of a national and global network of protests, inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish activist.

In Wellington, the students will march from Civic Square to Parliament, down Lambton Quay.

Raven Maeder, organiser of both the national movement and Wellington strike, said that the sacrifice of education for political action is emblematic of how leaders should be prioritising legislation and reducing emissions above political concerns.

 

“This is the most important thing we could be doing right now. If we did this on the weekend, it would be a cute action of young people,” she told Salient.

 

Some parents interviewed for One News said “they can protest in their own time”. Another parent appealed to older viewers, “those kids will feel like they’ve achieved something for the day, but you and I know they haven’t.”

Maeder, who is a VUW student, said that the organisers are “predominantly secondary students,” but parents, teachers, and even primary students are involved.

“We’ve contacted all the schools but they won’t get back to us […] it’s been really difficult to know who we’re reaching and who we’re not reaching,” Maeder said.

Indirect responses from schools vary. Some parents and teachers are extremely supportive; Thorndon Primary is planning to bring approximately 80 kids to the strike. Other schools “do not want to condone striking,” according to Maeder.

Despite this, Maeder expects anything from 300 to 800 students to attend the strike, but the movement is “inclusive” and anyone is welcome.  

Some politicians, including James Shaw and Chlöe Swarbrick, have said that they are supportive of the event and will attend.

SchoolStrike4Climate’s “An Open Letter from the Youth of Aotearoa” campaign can be found on ActionStation for interested students to sign.

 

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