School strikers get adult support for Friday climate protest
The global school strike protest on Friday is likely to disrupt the city’s streets, with adult individuals and organisations prepare to join their younger counterparts for the first time as part of a massive global day of action.
The SchoolStrike4Climate event starts at Shire Hall at 9.30am. The campaigners, backed by a vast global network of strikers who have teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg at their head, will march into town at 10.15am, and are expected at King’s College for a “die-in” at 11.15am, featuring a variety of alarm bells going off.
Ella Hone, 12, has been a school striker since the start of the year. She said: "I'm really excited to see how this turns out. Greta has called for adults to join with us this time.
"It is shocking how many people still have no idea how serious the climate crisis is, and carry on with their lives as if everything was normal."
Joining the pupils' walk-out will be Cambridge Tech Climate Action Network (CTCAN), a group of engineers and technologists who formed this month to highlight the need to ensure that Cambridge science keeps sustainability goals in mind. Speaking of the group's attendance, electronic engineer Ben Janoff said: "The youth and student strikers have been leading since the beginning of this movement and we think it's time that tech workers across Cambridge get involved and show our support. That's why CTCAN members will be at many different events on Friday, including the morning march, evening rally and several solidarity events near to workplaces throughout the day.
"We've heard from staff at technology companies all over Cambridge - some employers have encouraged their staff to participate, others have disappointingly not even been willing to acknowledge the strike. As organisations built on scientific understanding, we have a responsibility to follow the evidence on the climate crisis to its conclusion: urgent and radical action to halt emissions is needed now."
Nico Roman, 10, co-chair of the Cambridge Schools Eco-Council and a leader of the King’s College School Eco-Society, says: “Even the smallest child should have a voice. We’re organising the biggest climate week of action ever, alongside global protests, this coming week from September 20 to 27.
“Please join our climate strike at 9.30am on Friday at Shire Hall, marching to King’s Parade for a massive student lie-in to raise the alarms by 11am.”
The morning protest against political delays to climate change law is accompanied by an evening event on King’s Parade, starting at 5pm.
“If you support us, please come down to our candlelight vigils with torches, banners, hot food or drink, or even just a smile and a kind word, after school from Monday to Friday from 5 to 7pm on King's Parade,” says Nico. “We’ll have an open mic, music, poetry, artwork and you can sign petitions and talk to us about how to solve this wicked problem before it’s too late. All ideas are welcome!”
A spokesperson for the organisers told the Cambridge Independent: “The ink on the planetary death certificate is still wet. Only massive collective action will have a hope of erasing it. The Global Climate Strike offers a vital opportunity for the people of Cambridge to join the world in demanding change. ”
Samaya Hone, 14, asks for everyone to make the strike will be the biggest yet.
"We have come so far in these past months, with our strikes and gaining support for the cause, however in reality, we have only just begun the fight for climate justice," says Samaya. "On Friday, our strike will be themed around the global effects of climate change, demonstrating that it is not just Cambridge, or even the UK that are suffering, but the whole world. We hope this will be our largest and most powerful strike yet."
More by this authorMike Scialom