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New wave of global climate action begins

Olivia Thompson Dorothy Feaver Matthew Linares
21 September 2019
Protestors at a climate strike in Hackney, East London
Protestors at a climate strike in Hackney, East London
|
Matthew Linares, openDemocracy

Climate crisis protests reached a new pitch today as the first Friday of the Global Climate Strike saw adults join children’s marches worldwide.

Mass protests and smaller local gatherings from the Philippines to New York kick-started a season of action to pressure governments and the powerful for urgent change.

We spoke to a variety of locals at an event in Hackney, East London about how to get involved with the movement, what inspires them to do so, and who else we should talk to for answers on the issue.

Here Chloe and Lulu from the Hackney Extinction Rebellion chapter explain how young people can, and must, assume power, and how Extinction Rebellion is inspiring necessary disruption.

“It’s really not about blaming and shaming anyone. We are all part of a system and we will need everyone to help fight the climate crisis.”

Chloe, XR Hackney
Activists at the Global Climate Strike, 2019
Activists at the Global Climate Strike, September 2019 | Olivia Thompson

As the strike started to clear, many who’d taken the day off lingered on the steps of Hackney Town Hall to chat.

[Children] don’t have any other democratic ways of expressing their opinion or displeasure with the way things are going. I think they could be doing more at school in terms of raising awareness of the issues and maybe if they were, we wouldn’t feel the need to strike.

Larissa
Protestors at a climate strike in Hackney, East London 2019
Protestors at a climate strike in Hackney, East London 2019 | Matthew Linares

We spoke to a group of schoolchildren who found out about the protest through a teacher.

They continued chanting as they made their way home.

I’m sick of hearing about animals dying because of our traces, our plastic we are throwing away. We’re doing all we can to prevent this stuff.

Ruben
Protestors at a climate strike in Hackney, East London 2019
Protestors at a climate strike in Hackney, East London 2019 | Matthew Linares, openDemocracy

Others felt less encouraged. Mature student Andre said he didn’t want to take part.

I look at my carbon footprint and how much plastic I’m taking, but there’s not much more I personally can do.

Andre
Passer-by at a climate strike in Hackney, East London 2019
Passer-by at a climate strike in Hackney, East London 2019 | Olivia Thompson

Some bystanders paused for over an hour to watch the protest.

I’ll be speaking to my friends and family. The fact that people have got together is quite amazing.

Marie
Passer-by at a climate strike in Hackney, East London 2019
Passer-by at a climate strike in Hackney, East London 2019 | Olivia Thompson
Woman holds Extinction Rebellion flag
Woman holds Extinction Rebellion flag at a protest in Hackney, East London, 2019 | Olivia Thompson

Expose the ‘dark money’ bankrolling our politics

US Christian ‘fundamentalists’, some linked to Donald Trump and Steve Bannon, have poured at least $50m of ‘dark money’ into Europe over the past decade – boosting the far right.

That's just the tip of the iceberg: we've got many more leads to chase down. Find out more and support our work here.

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