School strike for climate

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School Strike for Climate
FridaysForFuture (FFF)
Part of the climate movement
Start of the FridaysForFuture Demonstration 25-01-2019 Berlin 28.jpg
Climate strike in Berlin on 25 January 2019
DateSince August 2018, mostly on Thursdays and Fridays
Caused byPolitical inaction against global warming
GoalsClimate change mitigation
MethodsStudent strike
Parties to the civil conflict
Lead figures

School strike for climate, also known in various regions as Fridays for Future, Youth for climate or Youth strike 4 climate, is a growing international movement of pupils and students who, instead of attending classes, are taking part in demonstrations to demand action to prevent further global warming and climate change. Publicity and widespread organising began when Greta Thunberg staged an action outside the Swedish Riksdag (parliament), holding a sign that read "Skolstrejk för klimatet" or "school strike for climate" during August 2018.[1][2]


On 20 August 2018, Greta Thunberg, then in ninth grade, decided to not attend school until the 2018 Sweden general election on 9 September after heat waves and wildfires in Sweden.[1] She asserts that this move was inspired by the teen activists at Parkland Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, who organised the March for our lives.[3][4] Her demands were that the Swedish government reduce carbon emissions as per the Paris Agreement, and she protested by sitting outside the Riksdag every day during school hours with the sign Skolstrejk för klimatet (school strike for the climate).[5] On 7 September, just before the general elections, she announced that she would continue to strike every Friday until Sweden aligns with the Paris Agreement. She coined the slogan FridaysForFuture, which gained worldwide attention. She inspired school students across the globe to take part in student strikes.[6]


Inspired by Greta Thunberg, massive school strikes started in November 2018. In Australia, thousands of school students were inspired by Thunberg to strike on Fridays, ignoring Prime Minister Scott Morrison's call for "more learning in schools and less activism".[7] In December student strikes continued at least in 270 cities[6] in countries including Australia, Austria,[8] Belgium, Canada,[9] the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Japan, Switzerland,[10][11] the United Kingdom and the United States.[6][12]


Banner reading "Why learn without a future" (Berlin, 25 January 2019)
Placards "Respect existence or expect resistance" and "Change the system, not the climate!"
Placard at a rally at Invalidenpark, Berlin on 8 February 2019
School strike for climate in front of the Parliament House, Helsinki, 11 January 2019

In 2019, strikes were organised again in the countries listed above and were organised for the first time in other countries, notably: Colombia, New Zealand and Uganda.[13]

The largest mass strikes to date happened on 17-18 January, when at least 45,000 students came out to protest in Switzerland and Germany alone, against insufficient policies on global warming.[14][15][16]

Belgian environment minister for Flanders Joke Schauvliege resigned on 5 February 2019 after falsely claiming the state security agency had evidence that the school strikes in Belgium were a "set‑up".[17]

In early February 2019, 350 Dutch scientists signed an open letter in support of the school strikes in the Netherlands. The letter reads "On the basis of the facts supplied by climate science, the campaigners are right. That is why we, as scientists, support them."[18]

In England, on the 13 February 2019, following the open letters supporting Extinction Rebellion in 2018, 224 academics signed an open letter giving their "full support to the students" attending the school strike for climate action.[19][20]

Climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, addressed a Fridays for Future climate strike in Potsdam, Germany on 15 February 2019.[21]

Nationwide strikes in the UK, expected in more than 30 locations[22] on Friday 15 February,[19][23] saw more than 60 actions in towns and cities, with an estimated 15,000 taking part.[24]

Friday 15 March is expected to be the most widespread of strikes, with tens of thousands of children in at least two dozen countries and nearly 30 US states projected to walk out of school, supported by of some of the world’s biggest environmental groups.[25][26]

By country[edit]

List of student strikes for climate action
Country Cities Date Participants Comments
Sweden Stockholm 20 August 2018 1 Daily until 9 September 2018, then every Friday, started by Greta Thunberg[1]
Netherlands The Hague 4 September 2018 1-4 participants, Daily until 21 September 2018, in front of the House of Representatives[27][need quotation to verify]
Netherlands Zeist 21 September 2018 1 10-year-old Lilly Platt has been on strike with Thunberg[28] and criticised the Australian prime minister.[29]
Australia multiple 28 November 2018 1700 Participants includued 200 outside parliament in Canberra. Australian Senate had approved motion to support the student action on Nov 27 2018.[30][31]
Australia 30 locations 30 November 2018 15000 Named 'Strike for Climate Action'[7][31] [32]
Canada Vancouver 7 December 2018 50 [9]
England (United Kingdom) London 7 December 2018 12 [33]
Germany Berlin, Göttingen, Hamburg, Kiel, Köln 14 December 2018 Several dozens of participants in Hamburg, unknown number in other cities. Named Fridays for Future: Klimastreik[34]
Switzerland Zurich 14 December 2018 500 [35][need quotation to verify]
USA New York 14 December 2018 1 US student Alexandria Villasenor begins weekly Friday picketing at the United Nations[36] [37]
Switzerland Basel, Bern, St. Gallen, Zürich 21 December 2018 4000 Named Klimastreik in German and grève du climat in French[10][11][need quotation to verify][35][need quotation to verify]
England (United Kingdom) Corsham 21 December 2018 4 Ellida Dilley was directly inspired by Greta Thunberg[38]
USA CO and NY 4 January 2019 2 Haven Coleman begins Friday protests in Denver and Villasenor continues in NY.[39]
Belgium Brussels 10 January 2019 3000 The Belgium movement 'Youth for Climate' organises strikes on Thursdays [40][need quotation to verify]
Finland Helsinki 11 January 2019 "Hundreds" of participants. Named Ilmastolakko / Klimatstrejk[41][need quotation to verify]
Canada Waterloo 11 January 2019 30 First "Fridays for Future" strike for Waterloo[42]
Scotland (United Kingdom) Fort William 11 January 2019 1 13-year-old Holly Gillibrand is also an Extinction Rebellion activist[43][44][45]
Belgium Brussels and Antwerp 17 January 2019 12750 [46][47][need quotation to verify][48][49]
Switzerland 15 locations 18 January 2019 22000 [14][need quotation to verify][15][need quotation to verify][50][51] Nobel laureate Jacques Dubochet joined the demonstration in Lausanne[15]
Germany 50 locations 18 January 2019 25000 Fridays for future Germany[16]
Belgium Brussels 24 January 2019 35000 [52][need quotation to verify][53][54] Activists gathered around the European Parliament[54]
Switzerland Davos 25 January 2019 30 With Greta Thunberg, who was invited to the World Economic Forum[55][56][need quotation to verify]
Germany Berlin 25 January 2019 15000 Fridays for future Germany[57][need quotation to verify][58][need quotation to verify]
Belgium Liège, Brussels, Leuven, Charleroi, Chimay, Tournai 31 January 2019 33000 The city of Liège supports it and accepts absence of students on this day[59][need quotation to verify]
Germany 25 locations 1 February 2019 12000 [60][need quotation to verify]Fridays for future Germany
Switzerland 13 locations 2 February 2019 65000 [61][62][need quotation to verify][63][need quotation to verify] Demonstration on Saturday, organised by the 'Climate Strike' movement
Netherlands The Hague, Groningen 7 February 2019 10000 [64][need quotation to verify][65][need quotation to verify]
Belgium Leuven, Brussels, Arlon, Antwerp, Kortrijk, Hasselt, Herve, Mons, Liège 7 February 2019 20000 [66][need quotation to verify]
Germany 50 locations 8 February 2019 21000 [67][need quotation to verify][68][need quotation to verify][69][need quotation to verify][70][71][need quotation to verify]
Austria Salzburg 8 February 2019 100 [72][need quotation to verify]
France Nantes 8 February 2019 150 First school strike for climate in France[73][74]
Ireland Dublin 13 February 2019 400 Organised by sixth-class students from Donabate Portrane Educate Together[75]
Netherlands Multiple cities 14 February 2019 100-500 participants, Both high-school students and undergraduate students participating. Weekly in Amsterdam, Nijmegen and Groningen [76][need quotation to verify][77][need quotation to verify]
Belgium Brussels 14 February 2019 11000 [78]
France Paris 15 February 2019 1000 [79]First school strike for climate in Paris[80]
UK 60 locations 15 February 2019 15000 [24] Coordinated by Youth Strike 4 Climate[81]
USA Denver, CO, Tisbury MA, New York 15 February 2019 9 In NY, Villasenor joined by other students for first time; In CO Coleman continues solo strikes.[39][25] In Tisbury MA, brothers Runar Finn (11) and Odin Robinson (9).[82]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Crouch, David (1 September 2018). "The Swedish 15-year-old who's cutting class to fight the climate crisis". The Guardian. London, United Kingdom. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  2. ^ Weyler, Rex (4 January 2019). "The youth have seen enough". Greenpeace International. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Teen activist on climate change: If we don't do anything right now, we're screwed". CNN. 23 December 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  4. ^ "The Guardian view on teenage activists: protesters not puppets - Editorial". The Guardian. 7 February 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  5. ^ "The Fifteen-Year-Old Climate Activist Who Is Demanding a New Kind of Politics". The New Yorker. 2 October 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "'Our leaders are like children,' school strike founder tells climate summit". The Guardian. 4 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b Bard Wilkinson (30 November 2018). "Australian school children defy prime minister with climate strike". CNN.
  8. ^ "FridaysforFuture Vienna". Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  9. ^ a b Karin Larsen (7 December 2018). "Metro Vancouver students cut class to demand action on climate change". CBC.
  10. ^ a b "More than 1,000 Swiss pupils strike over climate". Swissinfo. 21 December 2018.
  11. ^ a b Rouven Gueissaz (22 December 2018). "La "grève du climat" rassemble des centaines d'étudiants alémaniques". RTS Info (in French).
  12. ^ "Klimatmanifestation över hela landet: "Ödesfråga"". Expressen (in Swedish). 30 November 2018.
  13. ^ Julia Conley (17 January 2010). ""I'm Sure Dinosaurs Thought They Had Time, Too': Over 12,000 Students Strike in Brussels Demanding Bold Climate Action". Common Dreams.
  14. ^ a b Julia Rippstein (18 January 2019). "En Suisse, l'heure de l'urgence climatique a sonné". Le Temps (in French).
  15. ^ a b c "Les jeunes se sont mobilisés pour le climat un peu partout en Suisse". Radio Télévision Suisse (in French). 18 January 2019.
  16. ^ a b Hendrischke, Maria (18 January 2019). "Schüler streiken für Klimaschutz: "It's our fucking future"". Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (in German). Archived from the original on 2019-02-18. Am Freitag haben Kinder und Jugendliche in mehr als 50 Städten in ganz Deutschland protestiert. Etwa 25.000 junge Menschen sind nach Angaben von Fridays for Future bundesweit auf die Straßen gegangen. Halle war die einzige Stadt in Sachsen-Anhalt, die sich an der Demo beteiligt hat.
  17. ^ Boffey, Daniel (5 February 2019). "Belgian minister resigns over school-strike conspiracy claims". The Guardian. London, United Kingdom. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-02-05.
  18. ^ DutchNews (7 February 2019). "350 scientists back Dutch school kids climate demonstration". Retrieved 2019-02-09.
  19. ^ a b "School climate strike children's brave stand has our support". The Guardian. 13 February 2019. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  20. ^ Matthew Taylor (13 February 2019). "Academics back UK schools' climate change strikes". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  21. ^ Rahmstorf, Stefan (15 February 2019). "#FridaysForFuture — Schüler kämpfen für Klimaschutz" [#FridaysForFuture — Students fight for climate protection]. KlimaLounge (in German). Retrieved 2019-02-19. I had been invited by the Potsdam school pupils to say a few words at the demonstration today in front of the [Brandenburg] state parliament. I gladly accepted this invitation. (unofficial translation).
  22. ^ Waterhouse, James (14 February 2019). "'I skip school to demand climate change action'". BBC. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  23. ^ Matthew Taylor (8 February 2019). "UK pupils to join global strike over climate change crisis". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  24. ^ a b "Schoolchildren go on strike over climate change". BBC News. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  25. ^ a b Kaplan, Sarah (16 February 2019). "How a 7th-grader's strike against climate change exploded into a movement". Washington Post.
  26. ^ FridaysforFuture, (page visited on 26 January 2019).
  27. ^ Maja Landeweer (13 September 2018). "Scholieren spijbelen voor het klimaat: 'Boeit onze toekomst je iets?'". Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  28. ^ Herbert, Megan (16 November 2018). "5 things I learned from a 10-year-old climate activist". Medium. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  29. ^ "Young Environmental Activist Voices Support for Australian Students Striking Over Climate Change". Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  30. ^ Naaman Zhou (28 November 2018). "Hundreds of students striking over climate change descend on parliament". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  31. ^ a b Livia Albeck-Ripka (30 November 2018). "Climate change protest draws thousands of Australian students". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  32. ^ Naaman Zhou (30 November 2018). "Climate change strike: thousands of school students protest across Australia". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  33. ^ "London school strike for climate action". 7 December 2018.
  34. ^ lno (14 December 2018). "Schüler in Hamburg «streiken» für bessere Klimapolitik". Die Welt (in German). Archived from the original on 2019-02-18. Retrieved 15 January 2019. Dutzende Schüler sind in Hamburg am Freitag dem Unterricht ferngeblieben, um in der Innenstadt für eine bessere Klimapolitik zu demonstrieren. Mit Transparenten versammelten sie sich […] und forderten den Kohleausstieg und «stabiles Klima für stabile Zukunft». Die Kundgebung war Teil der Schulstreik-Kampagne #FridaysForFuture. In mehreren deutschen Städten - darunter Berlin, Kiel, Göttingen und Köln - hatten Schüler […] Proteste organisiert.
  35. ^ a b Céline Zünd (11 January 2019). "En Suisse, les étudiants appellent à une grève pour le climat". Le Temps (in French). Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  36. ^ Kahn, Brian (1 February 2019). "Students Are Preparing for the First Major US Climate Strike Next Month". Earther. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  37. ^ Horvat, Srećko (6 February 2019). "The children skipping school aren't ruining the planet – you are | Srećko Horvat". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  38. ^ Singleton, Sarah (2 January 2019). "School pupils on strike to press for action on climate change". The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  39. ^ a b First-Arai, Leanna (18 February 2019). "Sierra Magazine". Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  40. ^ "Les élèves en « grève scolaire » autorisés à marcher une nouvelle fois pour le climat". Le Soir (in French). 14 January 2019. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  41. ^ Anna Takala (11 January 2019). "Aikuisten saamattomuuteen tuskastuneet nuoret lakkoilivat ilmaston puolesta, Eduskuntatalolla parveili satoja nuoria – "Tässä on meidän tulevaisuudesta kyse"". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  42. ^ Shetty, Aastha. "Children and youth strike against climate change in Waterloo Region". Kitchener Today (11 January 2019). Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  43. ^ Henderson, Michelle (12 January 2019). "Fort William student goes on strike for action against climate change". Press and Journal. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  44. ^ Vicky, Allan (30 December 2018). "Youth roar: What the young would change in 2019". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  45. ^ Laville, Sandra (8 February 2019). "'I feel very angry': the 13-year-old on school strike for climate action". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  46. ^ "Climate change: Belgium students skip school to demand action". BBC News. 17 Jan 2019.
  47. ^ Wim Schepens (17 January 2019). "12.500 klimaatspijbelaars betogen voor de tweede keer voor een bindend klimaatplan". De Redactie (in Dutch). Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  48. ^ "12,200+ Belgian Students Skip School to Demand Climate Action". EcoWatch. 2019-01-18. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  49. ^ "Thousands skip school to protest climate change at march in Brussels". The Independent, UK. 17 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  50. ^ "Swiss youths strike for climate protection". Swissinfo. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  51. ^ "'There is no planet B': Swiss students stage strikes". RTE News, Ireland. 18 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  52. ^ "Ongeziene opkomst: 35.000 spijbelende jongeren trekken door Brussel voor derde klimaatbetoging". HLN (in Dutch). 2019-01-24. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  53. ^ Anastasio, Mauro (24 January 2019). "'We are the generation that has to deal with this damage' – 32,000 join Belgian school strike". META. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  54. ^ a b Clare, Roth; Salhi, Farah (24 January 2019). "Belgian students skip school for mass anti-pollution protest". Reuters. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  55. ^ "'Our house is on fire': Greta Thunberg, 16, urges leaders to act on climate". The Guardian. 25 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  56. ^ "Gekommen fürs Klima – und für Greta". Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (in German). 25 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  57. ^ "Schüler-Demo „Fridays for Future" „Wir sind richtig viele, es geht richtig los"". Berliner Zeitung (in German). 25 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  58. ^ "Mehrere tausend Schüler streiken in Berlin für den Klimaschutz". Der Tagesspiegel (in German). 25 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  59. ^ "Près de 33.000 jeunes marchent pour le climat en Belgique". Le Vif/L'Express (in French). 31 January 2019. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  60. ^ Agence France-Presse (1 February 2019). "Erneut tausende Jugendliche bei bundesweiten Schulstreiks für mehr Klimaschutz". Yahoo! News (in German). Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  61. ^ Watts, Jonathan (15 February 2019). "'The beginning of great change': Greta Thunberg hails school climate strikes". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  62. ^ Swiss Telegraphic Agency (2 February 2019). "En Suisse, toutes les générations défilent pour le climat". Le Temps (in French).
  63. ^ "Zehntausende gehen für Klimaschutz auf die Strasse". Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (in German). 2 February 2019.
  64. ^ "Klimaatspijbelaars: 'Volgende week willen we jullie weer zien'". Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (in Dutch). 7 February 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  65. ^ "Duizenden klimaatspijbelaars lopen protestmars door Den Haag". (in Dutch). Retrieved 2019-02-09.
  66. ^ "D'Arlon à Anvers, en passant par Louvain, 20.000 jeunes ont marché pour le climat (photos et vidéos)". Le Soir (in French). 7 February 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  67. ^ NDR. ""Fridays for Future": 1.000 Demonstranten in Flensburg". (in German). Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  68. ^ "#FridaysForFuture: Tausende Schüler demonstrieren für das Klima". BR24 (in German). 2019-02-08. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  69. ^ Möbius, Jan (2019-02-08). "130 Jugendliche demonstrieren für bessere Klimapolitik - Städtische Zeitung". Städtische Zeitung Halle (in German). Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  70. ^ WELT (2019-02-08). "Erfurt: Schüler-Demo stellt Klimapolitik schlechtes Zeugnis aus". Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  71. ^ Klein, Susanne (2019-02-10). ""Ein Teilerfolg wäre ein Widerspruch in sich"". (in German). ISSN 0174-4917. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  72. ^ "Salzburg: Schüler demonstrieren für das Klima". (in German). 2019-02-08. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  73. ^ Brigaudeau, Christel (14 February 2019). "Lycéens et étudiants français rejoignent la grève pour le climat". Nina, 15, who with two friends, Ambre and Louise, managed to mobilize nearly 150 students on February 8, in Nantes
  74. ^ Jaffrelot, Dylan (8 February 2019). "Nantes : plusieurs dizaines de jeunes rassemblés pour le climat".
  75. ^ Michelle Devane (13 February 2019). "School children protest outside Dail over climate change". Press Association. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  76. ^ Walter Baardemans (14 February 2019). "Geen Nijmegen aan zee: Studenten protesteren tegen klimaatbeleid". SAMbyHAN (in Dutch). Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  77. ^ Ewout Lowie (14 February 2019). "We vroegen klimaatdemonstranten in Amsterdam wat hun bord betekent". Vice (in Dutch). Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  78. ^ "Klimaatmars in Brussel brengt 11.000 jongeren op de been". De Morgen (in Dutch). 14 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  79. ^ Nelly Didelot (15 February 2019). "Grève scolaire pour le climat : « En 2050, vous serez morts, pas nous ! »". Libération (in French). Retrieved 15 February 2019. The first French edition of the youth gathering for the climate brought together a thousand high school students and students... in Paris.
  80. ^ Taylor, Matthew; Laville, Sandra; Walker, Amy; Noor, Poppy; Henley, Jon (15 February 2019). "School pupils call for radical climate action in UK-wide strike". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  81. ^ Sandra Laville, Poppy Noor and Amy Walker (15 February 2019). "'It is our future': children call time on climate inaction in UK". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  82. ^ Saltzberg, Rich (15 February 2019). "Robinson brothers ditch for climate action". MV Times.

External links[edit]

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