March 15th, 2019
More than a thousand students took to the streets of Cork City today to demand a more radical change to climate change policy from the Irish Government.
The students’ Friday vigil was part
of a global school strike taking place in more than 100 countries today.
Students in Cork brought the city’s
traffic to a standstill, shouting slogan such as: “We won’t let it bloody die,
Climate change is not a lie.”
Students in counties Dublin,
Limerick, Galway and other Irish cities also joined the global strike to put pressure
on the Government to address climate change.
The upsurge of students’ participation
in the fight against climate change is inspired by Greta Thunberg, a Swedish
teenager, who refused to attend school on Fridays and sat before her country’s
The 16-year-old climate activist, who has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize is protesting adults’ lack of concern for her peers’ future.
Teenagers around the world have now responded to her pleas for demanding a better future from adults.
Saoi O’Connor – arguably Cork City’s
very own Greta – has been sitting before Cork City Council for the past two
She could not attend today’s protest
but expressed satisfaction that her once solitary act has now flowered into a
wave of young climate action.
Students were accompanied by a group of drummers and teachers, with the numbers prompting Cork City’s Lord Mayor Mick Finn to come out of the building.
Addressing some concern about students
being punished for joining today’s protest, the Lord Mayor told The Green
News that the Council fully stands behind the students’ right to protest.
“I can’t dictate the schools’
policy, but I would encourage them to listen to the students because it is an
issue that affects us all,” he said.
He said that shedding light on the state
of our climate is crucial as “we all share the same planet.”
Mr Finn told the protesters that the
Council is not in charge of setting national policy, but added that he has
drawn climate-change-tackling plans to send to the Taoiseach’s office.
Speaking to The Green News
some students said that schools have threated them with “suspension” if they
joined today’s protest.
“Teachers tell us don’t go to the protest because you are going to get suspended, but what is the point of going to school when we’re not going to have a future?” 17-year-old Chantel McCarthy said.
Caoimhe Cotter, who often protests alongside Saoi O’Connor, also told The Green News said that she was beyond excited that “our group turned from one person to nearly a thousand”
Last October, the
United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC),
published a special report revealing that Europe’s targets do not line
up with the urgency of action required to curtail global temperature rise to
A subsequent report
from a team of scientists published in the journal Nature Climate Change also recently warned that the grievances we’re inflicting on our
planet would “extend longer than the entire history of human
civilisation thus far”.
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