On 14 February at 11am, school children striked against ongoing climate change. They were supported by university students, as they were on 29 November last year.
The new round of climate strikes comes at a complex time in environmentalist politics . The defeat of Labour’s Green New Deal at the election, coupled with a decline in support for Extinction Revolution, and the failure of the Green Party to translate their wins at local elections into wider holdings, has resulted in some commentators arguing that the movement built up over 2019 losing some of its momentum.
However, this did not seem to perturb the event organisers, UKSCN North East, who cited fires in Australia, Zambia, and flooding in Indonesia on their Facebook page as reasons the climate strike remained relevant.
Council bosses have come under fire for excluding the general public from the invite-only event, while allowing 100 academics, environmental campaigners, businesses and community leaders to take part.
Climate events have also gained reportage closer to home, where a major climate summit on how to make Newcastle carbon neutral by 2020 received negative press attention. Council bosses have come under fire for excluding the general public from the invite-only event, while allowing 100 academics, environmental campaigners, businesses and community leaders to take part. Thousands of residents were disappointed to be “shut out” of the conference, which will have a marked influence on their future.
Council Leader Nick Forbes described the summit as: “an important opportunity for many different groups, organisations and businesses within key industries that create so much of our greenhouse gas emissions to get together and have these difficult conversations” and highlighted the fact that “Over 1,000 people took part and I’m proud that so many of our school children did as their voices need to be heard.” Yet Forbes did not explicitly comment on the exclusion of local residents from the event.
‘We were really happy with the climate strike turn out! So interesting to hear many people, all ages, all backgrounds coming together to discuss the crisis we are facing.’People & Planet Newcastle
Despite these complicated ongoing circumstances both local and afar, the climate strike was a success, with numbers easily rivalling the protest in November, which was arguably bolstered by the UCU strikes, which happened to be ongoing at the time. The continued striking may offer greater opportunities to grass worms protesters, who may find opportunities to join in solidarity with other groups, whom oppose the powers of financial groups and big business.
The Courier reached out to the organisers of the climate strike, People & Planet Newcastle, who said: ‘‘We were really happy with the climate strike turn out! So interesting to hear many people, all ages, all backgrounds coming together to discuss the crisis we are facing.’
People & Planet Newcastle also conceded that “More positive action is needed to continue the fight for climate justice.”
Last modified: 19th February 2020