Thousands of students decided to ditch class for the day not to chill at home, but to protest against climate change policies. Surprisingly, this wasn’t the first time that kids have taken a stand to show their country’s leaders that the environment they want things to change. With such a passionate generation, perhaps our future is brighter than what we perceive it will be.
Protests were started last year by the young Greta Thunberg in Sweden. Last August, she protested solo by striking from school and standing outside parliament. After a video calling for other young people to do the same, more than 20,000 students worldwide have followed in her footsteps. As more and more students join the protest movement, it’s clear that they are angry about the situation that has been dealt to their generation.
Even in the rain and cold, 10,000 Belgian students skipped class to march in Brussels. Many held colourful signs and banners stating their anger towards the decisions made by world leaders regarding climate change. The disappointment stemmed from the conclusions governments made at the UN climate summit in Poland last year because they made little progress in increasing their commitments to reduce emissions. With this in mind, it’s hard to reprimand a kid for wanting to skip school to protest, and it was best said in one of their banners: “skipping school? No. We fight for our future.”
In an interview with the Guardian, Thunberg stated that “we have to understand what the older generation has dealt to us, what mess they have created that we have to clean up and live with. We have to make our voices heard.” Their frustrations towards the adults making decisions about the environment is not uncalled for because the older generation’s actions are going to affect the younger ones’. They don’t want to be stuck with a planet that cannot be saved.
As more kids join this protest, hopefully their concerns will get the attention they need from government authorities. It’s hard to ignore the cries of thousands of students who skipped school to make a stand in the cold. To do so would be heartless and insulting towards both the kids and the environment.