Tens of Thousands of Australians Will Take to the Streets to Demand Action on Climate Change
If you're planning to join the crowds or you're pondering your transport options for the day, here's how the events will go down in your city.
Mass environmental protests will flood the streets of Australia on Friday, September 20, when thousands of people across the country walk out of school and work to demand action on climate change.
Part of the Global Climate Strike movement, and organised locally by School Strike 4 Climate, events will be held in cities and towns across the nation — not only in state capitals such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, but in more than 100 Aussie spots.
With the United Nations' Climate Change Summit happening on Monday, September 23 in New York, the huge worldwide protests are timed to send a message. Taking place in 120 countries, they're the latest initiative to take the climate crisis to the streets, building upon the outcry expressed in other rallies this year. In March, a Global Climate Strike for Future attracted 1.4 million people around the globe.
This week's strikes have significant community backing this time, too — thousands of Australian school students are expected to walk out of class to attend, more than 30 unions have pledged their support, and over than 1200 Australian and global businesses have committed to giving their employees time off so that they can head along as well.
As well as drawing attention to Australia's horrific two years, weather-wise — as seen via soaring temperatures, prolonged drought conditions and the horrific bushfires that have plagued the Queensland and NSW for the last fortnight — protestors are fighting for three specific demands. They're asking for a ban on new coal, oil and gas projects, including the recently approved Adani mine; that 100-percent energy generated and exported by 2030 comes from renewable sources; and the funding of fair transition processes, including the provision of jobs, for fossil fuel industry workers and the communities currently reliant upon the sector.
Unsurprisingly, most places across Australia can expect disruptions and delays on Friday as a result of the strikes, including possible road closures and traffic diversions.
If you're planning to join the crowds or you're pondering your transport options for the day, here's how the events will go down in your city. And here are a few placard ideas, too:
Sydney protestors will converge on The Domain on Art Gallery Road at 12pm, then march to Hyde Park — heading down Macquarie Street, then along Elizabeth Street and ending on Park Street.
For those keen to march through the city beforehand, a Global Climate Strike bridge walk will set off from Bradfield Park near Milsons Point Station at 10am. Accompanied by a marching band, walkers will stroll over the Harbour Bridge, then continue along the Cahill walk to The Domain.
Melburnians will start their protest at the Treasury Gardens on Spring Street at 2pm, with people advised to arrive from 1.30pm. After a Welcome to Country, speeches and performances, a march will take place from 3pm. Protestors will walk down to Collins Street, keep going until Exhibition Street, then head down to Flinders Street — which'll bring them back to the gardens.
If you're commuting to the strike via train, you may want to join one of the four pre-strike train parties — on the Belgrave, Mernda, Craigieburn and Upfield — where there'll be snacks, chanting, singing and dancing.
Brisbanites will assemble in Queens Gardens on the corner of George and Elizabeth Streets from 12.30pm, with speeches commencing at 1pm and a march to Musgrave Park — via Victoria Bridge — starting at 1.30pm. More speakers and performances will follow in West End's Musgrave Park until 4pm.
Unions and workers will also be marching to Queens Gardens beforehand, meeting at 12.30pm at Brisbane Square in Reddacliff Place.
Top image: School Strike
Published on September 19, 2019 by Sarah Ward