Children All Over the World Skip Class to Protest in the Climate Strike

Including South Africa

Kids all over the world are bunking school today. They’re leaving their classrooms to march in a global climate strike taking place in over 100 countries, including South Africa.

Related: What Does Feminism Have to do with Climate Change?

The Kids Are Rising Up, All Over the World

The climate strikes are taking place today in Europe, the US, Africa, Asia and Australia as politicians continue to (mostly) ignore the crisis of climate change. This was all inspired by a teenager, Greta Thunberg. She skipped class to hold a solo protest last year outside the Swedish parliament to get politicians to act against greenhouse gas emissions.


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School strike week 30. #climatestrike #fridaysforfuture #schoolstrike4climate

A post shared by Greta Thunberg (@gretathunberg) on

She’s since sparked a movement to address the climate emergency faced by the world. Today, 1659 strikes worldwide are expected. The protest has spread to South Africa. An estimated 2000 students are marching on parliament in Cape Town today, and in Pretoria at the Union Buildings.

South African Students Are Doing the Things

The movement in South Africa is led by a group called “climate kids”, News24 reports. They claim that governments are “stealing our future”.

One of the students at the forefront of the South African climate strike is 17-year-old Ruby Sampson from Wynberg Girls High School. She was inspired by Greta:

“Greta is just amazing. She is pretty much the start of this movement. When she went viral I listened to her speech at Davos and it got me involved in climate change. I am too young to vote, but we want our voices heard. Climate change is not even on the election agenda,”

Sampson, who initially expected 500 students to join says the support now looks closer to 2000. She goes on to say:

“This is the biggest crisis faced by humanity. We will be the first species to enable our own extinction”

Kumi Naidoo – and Leo DiCaprio – Have Things to Say

Kumi Naidoo of Amnesty International made a statement that draws on similarities between South Africa’s past and the current threat to the world:

“Those who lived under apartheid know exactly what it means to live with an inherent threat to your existence. But rather than give in to the fear that it was too big to take on, we had no choice but to trust in the power of our individual actions. There are many lessons here for the climate change movement.”

Leo has also used his platform to support this cause:

According to The Guardian, Amnesty International has warned that world governments ignoring this problem could result in “one of the greatest intergenerational human rights violations in history”. Kumi Naidoo also has this to say about children bunking school today:

“It’s unfortunate that children have to sacrifice days of learning in school to demand that adults do the right thing. However, they know the consequences of the current shameful inaction both for themselves and future generations. This should be a moment for stark self-reflection by our political class.”

The children really are the future. We salute them.

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