Over 35,000 teenagers protest to save the earth

Since the beginning of January, Belgian teenagers have organized a "Climate March" in Brussels every Thursday, during which they skip classes without permission to protest climate change.

Marjan Justaert
Marjan Justaert De Standaard, Belgium
Source: De Standaard
Over 35,000 teenagers protest to save the earth - NewsMavens
Protest in Brussels, YouTube

Why this story matters:

The growing, massive support to "take action for the climate" is impressive. Inspired by the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg,  Belgian girls Anuna De Wever and Kyra Gantois (both 17) called on their colleagues to skip school every Thursday and force politicians to listen to them.

By the third march, a record number of more than 35,000 students attended, more than 10 times the number of the first march two weeks earlier. 

Ministers always complain that there's no "support for hard measures for a greener future", but "Youth for Climate" shows the exact opposite is true -- and the first step should be to reach the Paris Treaty goals.

Details from the story:

  • On January 10, approximately 3,000 pupils gathered in the streets of Brussels, after a call by 17-year-old Anuna De Wever and Kyra Gantois to protest for the climate.
  • One week later, there were 12,500.
  • Slogans displayed include "There is no planet B" and "Don't f*** your mother earth".
  • "Rather a punishment than no future", the schoolchildren say. Dutch and French speaking teenagers are working together, some are only 10 are 11 years old.
  • Similar protests were also staged in Ghent, Antwerp and Liege that same Thursday.
  • The youngsters are very aware of the climate threat, and are also asking for climate change to be included in the curriculum. They want to show they are truly committed to the issue and are not simply playing truant to avoid school.
  • The second "Rise for Climate Belgium March" was held on January 27. More than 70,000 people took to the streets of Brussels.
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