(From left): Aisha Oliver, Zahara Jensen and Hopi Leggo chanted “don’t trash our planet” at the Sunshine Coast Schools Strike for Climate event at Cotton Tree.
(From left): Aisha Oliver, Zahara Jensen and Hopi Leggo chanted “don’t trash our planet” at the Sunshine Coast Schools Strike for Climate event at Cotton Tree.

‘No planet B’: Students rise up in passionate protest

A RISING tide of passionate students are spreading their climate change message in a bid to be the adults they say aren't stepping up.

Sunshine Coast Strike for Climate co-organiser Echo Hunter Demecs was among a sea of like-minded people rallying with their placards at the Cotton Tree event.

The 17-year-old was shocked at the turnout, but said young people were shaken-up after the Federal Election and needed to be heard.

"I could see the youth were angry and they needed space to share their concerns," she said.

"This event holds validation that our concerns are real, and teaches the community."

Co-organiser of the Sunshine Coast's School Strike for Climate event, Echo Hunter Demecs.
Co-organiser of the Sunshine Coast's School Strike for Climate event, Echo Hunter Demecs.

Generations of family and friends attended the Sunshine Coast event to hear many speakers, including its founder Shellie Joseph, whose words pierced through the crowd.

The group was among about one million Australian students who ditched school on Friday to protest for three main goals in the Global Climate Strike- no new coal or gas projects, 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and a "just" transition for workers in the fossil fuel industry.

Ms Hunter Demecs said these workers were "vulnerable" and were an important part of their protest demands.

Critics of the strike voiced their concerns over students skipping school, but Ms Hunter Demecs said they had nothing to worry about.

Jarrah Small was among the crowd of people who protested at the School Strike for Climate event at Cotton Tree.
Jarrah Small was among the crowd of people who protested at the School Strike for Climate event at Cotton Tree.

"Some people think we are just out here wagging, but we're not," she said.

"It is a valid concern for some people to have, but when you think about what we are gaining out here it's nothing compared to what you can be taught in a classroom."

The Gympie State High School student had been inspired to educate herself on climate change two years ago after a groundswell of young change-makers brought it into the spotlight.

Since their first event in April, she said they tried to reach a wider audience in the September event.

"We learned a lot, the energy on the day was incredible, but we really tried to target the older generation to come along this time as well," she said.

"Knowing we are a part of a global community is so incredible."



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