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Newcastle school climate strike, March 2019. Photo: Chris Pollard

Newcastle school climate strike, March 2019. Photo: Chris Pollard

Students striking over climate change know exactly who to blame for endangering the world that they will inherit, Newcastle Counterfire reports

“We are skipping our lessons to teach you one" read the message on a placard, as around 400 protesters, mainly university and school students, gathered in Newcastle to protest the destruction of the environment and fight for their future.

Organised by Fossil Free organisations at Northumbria and Newcastle universities, this day of action follows on from the action led by YouthStrike4Climate in February. 

Students gathered at Northumbria and Newcastle Universities before combining for a march down toward the Monument in the city centre. An 'open megaphone' at the monument meant that literally dozens of students were able to articulate the demands of the movement. 

Not only did the day show that the movement has grown considerably in the last two months, but that this is clearly part of a wider radicalising momentum. Far from the individualistic solutions which often dominate on green issues, the protest was explicitly political.

One of the main chants today was "not our fault". Young people are very clear on where the real blame lies for the destruction of the environment, and the language of the protests was very much geared towards social transformation.

Some students planned a meeting immediately after the protests to create a local youth assembly with the aim of keeping up the momentum of the movement and raising their collective voices.

Lots of young people complained that they are not being listened too, but this movement is not going away anytime soon. Although nominally a single issue movement, there is clearly an insurgent mood which is fuelled by anger against a system which is letting young people down. They want system change, not climate change.

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