Over 30,000 Belgian students skipped their classes and swarmed the streets of Brussels on Thursday demanding government action against climate change.
Students holding colourful banners saying ‘School Strike 4 Climate ‘ and ‘Dinosaurs thought they had time too’ gathered around the European Parliament.
Thursday’s protest was the third in the past three weeks and looks like things won’t cool down any time soon. The protestors were inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who protested outside the national legislature during her school hours demanding the government to reduce carbon emission. She started by skipping her classes from August till the Swedish general elections in September last year. After the elections, she continued the protest on every Friday. Greta’s protest has inspired students from several countries including Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland.
Greta also went to the World Economic Forum in Davos, attended by thousands of leaders who took ‘private jets’ to discuss climate change. Greta chose a 32-hour train journey to Switzerland pounding her message to the jet-setters in Davos. Through a video message from there, Greta said, “I ask you to stand on the right side of history. I ask you to pledge to do everything in your power to push your own business or government in line with a 1.5-degree world.”
With pollution levels continuing to rise in India too, aren’t these students giving us a wake-up call?