Community strikes for climate change

Castlemaine students and concerned community members joined with countries around the world on March 3 to participate in a Global Climate Strike.

Local school students and community members striking for climate action, marched through the streets of Castlemaine last Friday as part of a global movement, with over 400 strikes occurring in countries around the world.
Nalderun CEO Kath Coff opened the event with a welcome to country and spoke in support of the movement and the courage and determination of our youth.
Local activist Graca Dores spoke to the gathered crowd about the continually worsening climate crisis.
“It is speeding us towards an irreversible tipping point into an ecological nightmare while the government takes no action,” Graca said with conviction.
“First Nations people have been caring for this land for tens of thousands of years and yet governments still don’t listen. How can we have any form of justice when voices aren’t even being heard, let alone listened to, we must always remember that we can never have true climate justice without First Nations justice.
“We have been telling governments for decades that climate change is a massive issue but they have always disregarded the scientific evidence, how can they continue to do this when our Pacific neighbours are already seeing the consequences?
“Without political action soon we will have no hope of staying under 1.5 degrees of global warming.
“Natural disasters are getting more and more frequent and places are becoming less and less liveable. We can no longer just sweep climate change under the rug to be dealt with by the next generation. I am giving up parts of my education because I want to be able to tell my grandchildren that I fought for climate justice, that I did not sit idly by waiting for someone else to do something on an issue that will impact everyone!” spoke Graca.

Community members protested against government inaction on the climate crisis. These skeletons were particularly eye-catching.

Fellow activist, Arlo Foyn Hill spoke in favour of lowering the voting age to 16, not only giving young people a voice but also recognising the meaningful contribution of young people to politics, the world, and the future.
“If the adults and politicians know better than us, then why are they destroying our future? Why are the people in power continuing to ignore the severity of the climate crisis, why are emissions still rising, and why are tens of billions of dollars still going towards fossil fuel projects and corporations in Australia each year?” asked Arlo.
“With the impacts of the climate crisis escalating and becoming more frequent, it is vital that young people, who have to grow up to live in this world, have a tangible say in the decisions that will so greatly affect what our future looks like.
“There are so many 16 and 17-year-olds who are politically engaged and would contribute an essential voice to our system. A good system is one where a wide range of voices is heard. In a world where the climate emergency is such a defining issue, it is vital that the voice of future generations is a part of the discussion,” concluded Arlo.
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Jade Jungwirth
Jade is the former Editor of the Tarrangower Times and has lived in the region for over 16 years.