Great to see the school student strikers marching today in Edinburgh. Around 350 rallied at the Scottish Parliament and then marched to the City Chambers.
A year ago, on 20th September seven million people around the world demonstrated for climate action. The Edinburgh demonstration organised by Scottish Youth Climate Strike (SYCS). SYCS are calling for people to protest on Friday September 25th. For the latest information check the SYCS website – there will be physically distanced protests where safe to do so – you can also add your voice on social media – make a sign calling for a Just Green Recovery and post a picture of it using #BuildBackBetterScot.
Follow @_sycs_ for more information (Instagram only)
Follow @syclimatestrike for more information (Facebook Only)
Friday 29th November is the date of the next round of Youth Climate Strikes. There are demonstrations in towns and cities throughout Scotland – you can find the details on the SYCS website and share the events on social media from their Facebook page. The September strikes saw the development of workplace solidarity with a range of actions from lunchtime meetings to walkouts. November 29th is an opportunity to build on this. UCU members working in a number of Scottish universities will be on strike over pay and pensions on the 29th and the UCU is encouraging their members to go from their picket lines to join the climate protests. This is a great opportunity for workers in other unions to show practical solidarity with the UCU and the school students.
Check out our previous post on arguing for solidarity action in the workplace.
In the second session of our conference on Saturday 16th November Simon Pirani and Mary Church will take a look at the challenges we face locally and internationally. This, together with session one on American Climate Rebels will form the backdrop to discussion during the rest of the day.
At last year’s conference we worked together to draft a climate jobs manifesto. In the twelve months since November 2018 there have been hugely significant developments driven by the Youth Climate Strikers and the growth of XR. However, we still have a long way to go. This year we hope to take the discussion forward by looking at the politics and practice of building a mass social movement that has climate justice at its heart.
Find out more about the 2019 conference here. Book for the conference on Eventbrite and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to book one or more crèche places.
The Edinburgh demonstration on September 20th 2019 was organised by Scottish Youth Climate Strike – Scot.E3 spoke to Sandy one of the organisers.
Here’s a brief clip of the Edinburgh march moving down the Royal Mile – 20,000 marched form the Meadows to Holyrood Park
Brilliant turn out for the marches in Scotland and around the world. Twenty thousand in Edinburgh, at least ten thousand in Glasgow and locations all over the country. Please send in photos, videos and reports to email@example.com and we’ll add to this post.
Some more photos from the Edinburgh March
Mike from Glasgow writes:
Upwards of 10,000 of us marched from Kelvingrove to George Square today – an indistinguishable mix of school students, workers, trade unions, college students, college lecturers, families with young children, environmentalists, socialists – inspired by the Indian summer day, the leadership of the school strikers, and the common cause.
“What did your headteacher say to you about the strike?” I asked a group of kids from Moodiesburn. “He told us not to go, so we came anyway – sod them.”
As we passed the bottom end of Scott Street we got a big and colourful welcome from a throng of Art School students , ramped up the steep slope above us, protesting loudly for Climate Justice.
From behind us the loud rhythms of the Sambayamba Youth Street-Band – fronted by five trombones, the band leader playing his trombone while walking backwards – kept us going and dancing.
Placards abounded – diverse in their messages yet all under one banner, as it were.
“We’d be in school if you listened”
“Mourning the loss of our future” (In bold black against a white ground)
“Fuck the Government”
“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty”
“The seas are rising, so are we”
“Scrap Trident, fund climate”
“Climate refugees welcome”
“Solidarity with indigenous protectors”
“End domestic flights now”
“Don’t streak, strike”
“Rage, rage against the dying of the light”
“Why did you let it happen, papa?”
And YES! “Climate change is a class issue”
Hoisted highest of all, the Palestinian flag.
This was a magnificent action, providing a solid base across the globe, that we must collectively build on without delay.
There are marches and rallies all around Scotland – check out the one nearest to you on the Scottish Youth Climate Strike website. All around Scotland workers are taking action in support of the student strikers. Often this is taking the form of walkouts and workplace meetings. We’d love to receive a report of action in your workplace that we could collate and share as part of building momentum for the movement. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Edinburgh City Council (having already told school students in the city that they can only walk out to take action over climate once in a year) is now saying that they can’t march down Princes Street on 20th September. This from a council that has happily closed down streets around the city in the last few days to facilitate a multi million dollar movie. No questions asked about the huge climate footprint of that operation.
School students around the world have done a magnificent job in putting collective action on the agenda. Contact the council, email your councillors, get your workmates and/or union branch to send a message to the council that their declaration of a climate emergency rings hollow unless they give full support to the school students who are leading the way.
The Trades Union Congress meeting today has supported the 20th September action – we reproduce a statement from the Campaign Against Climate Change here:
TUC conference has today unanimously passed a motion to support the school student Global Climate Strike on 20th September and has called on TUC affiliate Unions to organise a 30 minute work day campaign action to coincide with the school students strike on 20th September.
We congratulate the delegates at TUC who have voted to recognise the significance of the Global School Students strikes, initiated by Greta Thunberg and the need for adults and especially the Trade Union movement to stand alongside young people, to ensure they do not stand alone in fighting for the urgent action needed to tackle climate change and ecological crisis and to deliver Climate Justice.
We ask all Trade Unions to now turn words into action and get organised to build on the fantastic examples of Trade Union solidarity action already in place for 20th September.
The 20th September is already set to be the biggest turnout of working people many organised through their Trade Unions in the UK uniting in solidarity with young people. But it can be even bigger and we still have two weeks to deliver solidarity action to put hundreds of thousands of Trade Unionist onto the streets.
We would like to salute the young people who have led the action and also the UCU NEC members who put forward the motion to TUC conference calling for a 30 minute stoppage. They have been bold enough to recognise the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for Trade Unionists to not only respond to the call for Trade Unions to join them but to be bold in their actions and demands. The support for the UCU statement with over 2000 Trade Unionists and over 100 organisations backing the call for solidarity and a 30 minute workplace stoppage on 20th has also shown us the appetitive that there is for climate action within the Trade Union movement.
We ask all Trade Unionists to do everything they can to match the boldness required of us by the urgency of the Climate Crisis. We have just under two weeks now to build maximum solidarity on the 20th.
This is just the beginning and we will need to continue the work of building solidarity, fighting to ensure our unions have the most progressive policies which match what the science tells us that we need to do and to continue to demand the Climate Jobs and a Green New Deal which can deliver the Just Transformation that we need.