Youngsters hold climate strike after demo shutdown

Cropclimate protest

A row broke out at the UN this week over the way climate protesters we treated at a summit in Madrid

13th December 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Scottish youngsters have joined compatriots across the world in striking over climate change inaction.

Young Scottish climate activists have joined the global Fridays for Future movement in backing calls for a Global Climate Strike today (Friday 13 December).

The young people will strike because they feel the outcomes of the United Nations climate talks in Madrid (COP25) are not only insufficient, but a painful image of how little politicians care about the planet and about people living with the daily reality of climate change.

The youth are taking action to stand in solidarity with Indigenous people, people from the Global South and people that are already suffering from the impacts of the climate emergency. On Wednesday (11 Dec), hundreds of activists peacefully protested inside the UN climate talks and were forcibly removed by the UN security, had their badges taken and threatened with expulsion from the rest of the talks.

After extensive negotiations between civil society representatives and United Nations they were permitted to return to the talks the following day,

Dylan Hamilton, 15 from Linlithgow, a member of Scottish Youth Climate Strikes, has attended the UN talks and witnessed the protests.

He said: “There was a peaceful protest of around 200 of us, outside the main negotiating hall, demanding that rich nations step up and pay up for the damage caused by climate change. The protest by people from across the world was led by women, Indigenous groups and those who are living on the frontline of climate impacts every day.

“The United Nations security kettled the group, with people being shoved, bullied and touched without their consent. People were crying and worried and forced outside the building. I was filming the security’s overreaction and they threatened to de-badge me which meant I would no longer be allowed into the talks.

“The hugely disproportionate security reaction was in stark contrast to a peaceful protest earlier that day by young, predominantly white protestors, with Greta Thunberg in attendance, which was permitted without any of the violence from security. Why was one protest permitted and another suppressed?

“The treatment of these protestors was doubly frustrating when we see how big polluters like Shell, who are directly responsible for climate change, are still allowed into the talks, to weaken action and try to sell their dangerous false solutions. Instead of kicking out the polluters, the UNFCCC kicked out the people demanding climate justice”

Sandy Boyd,15, from Edinburgh, a member of Scottish Youth Climate Strikes, said: “This year has seen the biggest climate protests in history but the politicians still aren't listening. The outcomes of this year’s negotiations in Madrid will not be enough. They have been postponing action and kicking out those who call them out on their failures. These talks about my future have been going on all my life, yet they have very little action to show for them.

“The youth will be protesting on Friday, as many of us have done for over a year, to demand climate justice and urgent action that brings down emissions. We will no longer accept empty words from Governments and polluters. We need leaders that listen to the people and act accordingly.”