Rally at the end of The Climate Coaltion's Mass Climate Change Lobby of Parliament, Westminster. London, organised by The Climate Coalition, 17 June 2015.

Adults are failing us on climate: that's why I'm striking

Student Lily plans to join the second youth strike for climate today. Here she tells us why she's decided to miss college.
  Published:  15 Mar 2019    |      2 minute read

Lily is studying at City & Islington College and will be striking in London.

She’s 17 and a member of My World My Home – a programme to  develop the next generation of environmental leaders.

A portrait shot of Lily, City & Islington College
Lily, City & Islington College
Credit: Lily

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Over to you Lily.

"I heard about the Youth Strike 4 Climate through social media and other students at my college. There was a lot of enthusiasm and many people were encouraging others to go.

"It seems that each day climate change becomes a more pressing issue and youth across the world feel the need to come together to make our voices heard. We can't yet vote, so we have a responsibility to do this.

Lily (back, centre) with her fellow students
Lily (back, centre) with her fellow students

"The first strike I'd been to was on 15 February. Thousands of students came together in Parliament Square in London, as well as other major cities across the UK, chanting and carrying placards which held their messages.

"Some people were saying that in order to get media coverage we needed to block traffic on the roads, although this was already beginning to happen due to the number of students and other supporters already gathered there.

"A man on his motorbike, who clearly cared neither for the welfare of our planet nor for the safety of protesters, tried to get through the crowd of people spilling onto the road by revving his engine before police asked him to dismount. All the while people began to chant "Turn it off, turn it off!"

The more of us there are, the more we will get our message across.

"Then there was an open mic which allowed young people to have their voices heard. One girl was talking about the weather, saying it shouldn't be this hot in February. Another spoke about the positive impacts going vegan has on the environment.

"Another girl from South London told the crowds about how students at her school sat down in the playground and refused to move until their teachers let them out to join the strike.

Educating the adults

"It seemed as if the schoolchildren at the protest knew more about environmental issues than some adults. There is a complete lack of knowledge among the general public surrounding the concerns of climate change.

"I think this is mainly due to the shortage of media coverage these topics get.

Young people protesting in Australia
Young people protesting in Australia
Credit: Julian Meehan

"Since the last strike, more people have become aware of the need for action and there is a lot more encouragement between students.

"People's eyes have been opened to how big the problem truly is.

Reasons to be cheerful

"There are high hopes that this strike will be even bigger than last time as there are many students who regretted not going last month. 

"I think that teachers, parents and carers should encourage young people to attend the strike and stand up for climate justice – a problem that will ultimately affect us all.

Young people are genuinely scared about the future of our planet and it can't be left up to us to sort out such a terrible mess.

"This is just the beginning as there is still so much that needs to be done. It really is down to the children to educate the adults."