Thousands of students across Australia walked out of their classrooms on Friday, protesting against government inaction on climate change.
In Melbourne, an estimated 5000 students rallied outside the Old Treasury Building before taking to the streets of the CBD in a colourful protest marked by an array of pithy and often witty signs, along with chants attacking Prime Minister Scott Morrison and international mining group Adani. In Sydney, thousands crammed Martin Place in an equally strong show of youthful anger.
Protest Sign Of The Year#climatestrike #climatechange #ClimateAction #schoolstrike4climate #SchoolStrike #schoolstrike4climateaction #school #auspol #scomo @ScottMorrisonMP pic.twitter.com/7Fd8BPQyC8
— The Morning Squire 🌐 (@MorningSquire) November 30, 2018
Students told Hatch reporters Helena Abdou and Fatima Halloum they were protesting for their future and the future of the planet – and rejected suggestions they should not have abandoned their studies to protest over an issue they didn’t understand, as some critics have claimed.
Earlier, federal Minister for Resources Matt Canavan had criticised the student protest in an interview on 2GB – an interview that to many on social media only reinforced the point the protesters were making.
“The best thing you’ll learn about going to a protest is how to join the dole queue,” Mr Canavan said.
“Because that’s what your future life will look like, up in a line asking for a handout, not actually taking charge for your life and getting a real job.”
The children Matthew Canavan said would “end up on the dole queue. @ScottMorrisonMP, care to comment on one of your ministers abusing and bullying children by saying there future will amount to nothing? #auspol @mattjcan @sarahinthesen8 @SenatorWong pic.twitter.com/m3xXqCdj9G
— Fred Miller (@JohnSmith88897) November 30, 2018
There were protests on Friday in cities and regional centres nationwide, inspired by the example of 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who boycotted classes in September to raise awareness of climate change.
Time for bed in Sweden. But in Australia it’s already morning and the 30th of November. IStand strong Australia. We are with you. #FridaysForFuture #ClimateStrike #schoolstrike4climate #walkout
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) November 29, 2018
Deafening noise from thousands of students. @naamanzhou says it’s “the biggest Martin Place protest I have ever seen. This is extraordinary. Took 10 minutes to get to the front. Kids are sitting in the fountain” #climatestrike #schoolstrike4climate https://t.co/B1PTIfpRN7 pic.twitter.com/vLl5jvyf8o
— Guardian Australia (@GuardianAus) November 30, 2018