Climate Change

End fossil fuels: Climate group calls for global occupation of schools & universities 

 Can no longer pretend normality is fine, claims group; announces protest days after global climate strike 

By DTE Staff
Published: Tuesday 27 September 2022
A global climate strike by school students in Perth, Australia, in 2019. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Thousands of young people staged a coordinated “global climate strike” September 23, 2022 to protest inaction against the climate crisis. Now, students have planned another radical step to occupy schools and universities globally to demand climate justice.

After three years of climate strikes, End Fossil: Occupy movement is calling out to students internationally to occupy their schools and universities anytime between September and December 2022. The demonstations are aimed at putting an end to fossil fuel for a safe and sustainable climate. 

“We will use the spaces we have — schools and universities — to organise the change of the course of history,” stated students and activists of climate organisation in a press release issued September 26.

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In August 2018, 15-year-old Greta Thunberg began a school strike for climate. In the three weeks leading up to the Swedish election, Thunberg sat outside the Swedish Parliament every school day, demanding urgent action on the climate crisis.

Thunberg’s protests had sparked #FridaysForFuture (FFF) — a youth-led and -organised movement. The demonstrations encouraged other young people all over the world to join them, marking the beginning of the global school strike for climate. The September 23 protests were coordinated by FFF. 

We have the common goal of ending the fossil economy at an international level and feel the need to be more radical, said. “We will disrupt schools and universities because we can no longer pretend normality is fine: Our duty as youth is to fight,” it stated. 

Schools and universities are being targeted because each group of society should mobilise where it can to build a mass climate justice movement that will win, the organisation said. “Thus, we will use the spaces we have – schools and universities – to organise the change of the course of history,” it stated. 

The group also asked for global support, asking people to help occupy a school or university on ending the fossil industry. They need to follow “three action principles: Youth-led occupation, climate justice framework for the demands and occupy until we win the demands,” the press statement added. 

Schools and universities in several cities such as Boston, Lisbon, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Madrid, Oviedo and more will be occupied, the climate group said. 

Read more: How climate vulnerability in South Bihar takes a toll on its groundwater

Protestors had taken to streets in Jakarta, Tokyo and Berlin carrying banners and posters with slogans such as “We are worried about the climate crisis” and “It's not too late,” reported television news network Euronews

Activists walked out of schools, universities and jobs in New Zealand and Japan to Germany and the Democratic Republic of Congo to demand rich countries pay for the damage global heating is inflicting on the poor, said a British daily The Guardian

In India, a section of FFF had organised protests in Bengaluru, according to a report in daily The Hindu. The climate strikers demanded “climate reparations and justice”. 

These protests occurred six weeks before the upcoming United Nations climate change conference, more commonly referred to as COP 27, which works to tackle climate change. 

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