Millions of people all over the world are set to come together on Friday Sept. 20 for a global strike to demand action against the climate crisis.
It will be a day of empty classrooms, silent conference calls — and roaring streets, alive with protest.
And in Oxford — Malala’s term-time home and reportedly Britain’s “wokest” city — everyone seems ready to get stuck into the historic movement.
The Metro reports that activists are describing the city-wide participation in the global event as the UK's “first general strike since 1926”, as adults and young people join forces to protest the climate crisis.
Oxford residents will add their voices to communities in over 150 countries for the international “Strike With Us” march, abandoning school and work to call for radical action from governments to curb greenhouse gas emissions and avoid ecological collapse.
Young activists who have been taking part in school strikes over the climate crisis will be joined by adults when they walk out on Friday— Marmite Marmz (@marmitemarmz) September 17, 2019
The entire city of Oxford – and surrounding areas – will go on strike to draw attention to environment issues https://t.co/b8J6n1rHxb
Like the rest of the UK, young activists from Youth Strike 4 Climate and UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN) will lead the Oxford protest, according to Metro. It will be supported by a variety of trade unions, Earth Strike UK, and Extinction Rebellion — all inspired by 16-year-old climate hero Greta Thunberg, who will be joining the strike in New York on the same day.
The Oxford march is set to begin at 11 a.m. on Broad Street. But all over the country, young people will be rising up — from Bangor to Barnsley, and Glasgow to Grimsby. You can find a local demonstration in your area through this link.
“We’ve been doing youth strikes for the past seven months now and more people than ever before are noticing — but not enough is being done quick enough to make an impact,” EJ Fawcett, a 17-year-old student and Oxford Youth Strike for Climate activist from Oxford, told the Metro.
“We were sick of the government ignoring the crisis and we know that no-one listens to young people in the same way that they listen to adults,” they added. “So we decided, ‘alright then, we’ll get the adults involved too.’”
Oxford's #GlobalClimateStrike is on Broad Street this year outside the Vice Chancellor's office because the youth strikers wanted to make it clear that the @UniofOxford needs to leverage its power for climate justice - by divesting. 11am-2pm: SHOW UP!https://t.co/qYcxCgEDX5— OxfordClimateJustice (@OxUniFossilFree) September 17, 2019
Perhaps 2019 will be remembered as the year that youth activism saved the planet.
As the impact of Thunberg’s #FridaysForFuture school strikes has spread all over the world, hundreds of governments have declared climate emergencies, companies have committed to the Paris climate agreement, and awareness of climate change has skyrocketed.
Many are predicting that Sept. 20 will be the single biggest day of environmental activism in human history. While 1,200 Amazon employees walk out of their offices, clothing brand Patagonia and snowboarding chain Burton will be shutting all their stores.
Global Citizen will be out on the day too, hearing from young activists about the motivation behind the movement.
And just as senior citizens who call themselves “Greta’s oldies” are representing the older generation from Sweden, Thunberg will be addressing a congregation in New York made up of young activists who have travelled to be there from all over the United States.
“If you can’t be in the strike, then, of course, you don’t have to,” Thunberg told Teen Vogue. “But I think if there is one day you should join, this is the day.”
Climate breakdown is the biggest health threat we face. On Friday off-duty healthcare workers will be at Oxford #ClimateStrike supporting student strikers.— Sarah Briggs (@DrSarahEWB) September 17, 2019
If you work in health & want to join us details here: https://t.co/saU6cXHxLA@AnyaGopfert@OxYouthStrikehttps://t.co/20tfasuu9U
I will be at the #ClimateStrike in Broad Street on Friday 20th then hosting this #ClimateCafe afterwards for businesses and residents wanting to know how they can #makeadifference Open to all. https://t.co/nX9JxdjpzH— Lord Mayor of Oxford (@OxfordLordMayor) September 16, 2019