School strike draws hundreds to city

YOUNG VOICES: School students skip school to protest in Hunter Street about government policy on climate change. Pic: Melinda McMillan
YOUNG VOICES: School students skip school to protest in Hunter Street about government policy on climate change. Pic: Melinda McMillan

HUNDREDS of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie children from 10 local schools walked out of class on November 30 to protest “government inaction on climate change.” 

The students met at the front of the Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon’s office, spilling out across the road to NeW Space, as part of the Big Schools Walk Out.

From there the students, including primary school children, held placards and banners to make their point clear. 

Across the nation, as many as 15,000 students took part in the political action, organisers claimed. 

Organisers of the event said there was “a lot more people” at the rally than they had expected. 

MP Jenny Aitchison said around fifty people attended a rally outside her office in Maitland, which she also participated in.  

Rallies also took place in every capital city of Australia and across 20 regional areas, organisers said. 

In Canberra, Prime Minister Scott Morrison first implored children not to attend the Big Schools Walk Out, then said: “What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools.”

The protests were the first Australian action in the global advocacy movement which was sparked by 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg who gained worldwide attention after going on strike to highlight the climate crisis.

The students are now organising marches in capital cities in response to the funding of the Adani Carmichael coalmine in Queensland.  

The controversial mine, located in the Galilee Basin, has been scaled back significantly and will be 100 per cent self funded. 

A Sydney march will be held on December 8. schoolstrike4climate.com