Guildford's Climate Strike by Ellen Parry

‘Climate Strike’ has been named word of the year (yes, it is two words). On November 29th, the world’s school students are gearing up for another radical global climate strike. Directly before the UK’s General Election, and with the UN Climate Change Summit in Madrid just around the corner, there is no better time to speak up on Climate injustice.

The previous strike, held on the 20th September as part of a weeklong action campaign, saw over seven million participants take to the streets across the world.

The movement, of course, started back when Greta Thunberg started spending her school days outside the Swedish Parliament. Now, that movement has grown into ‘Fridays for Future’ which mobilises students across the world. The UK Student Climate Network protest the government’s lack of action on the Climate Crisis, which has been far too convenient to ignore up to now. School striking is a passive rejection of a society that is actively shaping us to contribute to our own destruction.

Has the movement been having any influence? In short, yes! The UK Government declared a climate emergency in May, Fracking is under fire in the House of Commons, and a citizen’s climate assembly is a real possibility. Those are just a few examples of recent climate change news, but the movement is only just beginning. Politicians and the media are unable to ignore it, they must take it seriously. Anyone can take part with minimal harm to others. They are peaceful, and this is one of the most effective ways to bring about social change.

The school strikers in the UK have received the support of numerous politicians including Jeremy Corbyn, Caroline Lucas, Sadiq Khan, and Jo Swinson, to name a few. Of course, there are many who are not in favour of students missing out on their education. However, activism is education, and it’s an essential component of a healthy democracy.

So, what’s happening in Guildford? The local group ‘Strike 4 Climate Guildford’ are hosting a strike on the 29th. At their previous strike in September, over 1000 people of all ages took part and this was before the Semester started at Surrey. With Surrey students, we could help them see their largest local action event yet. Multiple societies and local organisations are supporting this movement, the Facebook event is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2434833010138716/

The school striking movement of the UK have a loud voice, but the majority of them don’t have a vote. Help them be heard!