Youth activists are demanding not only climate action but also equitable Covid-19 vaccine distribution.
By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-21-
Young climate activists including Greta Thunberg are gearing up for another global strike on Friday when they’ll demand that world leaders “uproot the system” to create a just future for all.
“Time and time again the leaders today show that they do not care about the future, at least their actions don’t reflect it,” Thunberg said at a press conference Monday.
“They said that they listen [to] young people, but they are obviously not,” she said, “and that’s why we will be back ono the streets. We have not disappeared.”
See map of scheduled actions here.
The Friday, September 24 actions—over 1,300 have been scheduled so far—are centered on what organizers with Fridays for Future frame as “intersectional climate justice,” pointing to an interplay between the climate emergency and other crises such as wealth inequality and racism.
“The historical victories of collective action have proven the need for the youth to stand united with the multisectoral, intergenerational struggle for a better future for all; a future where people and planet are prioritized,” organizers wrote.
An event description put emphasis on the “Most Affected Peoples and Areas,” or MAPA, a group that’s “experiencing the worst impacts of the climate crisis and are unable to adapt to it”—a situation blamed on “the elite of the Global North who have caused the destruction of the lands of MAPA through colonialism, imperialism, systemic injustices, and their wanton greed, which ultimately caused the warming of the planet.”
Reparations to MAPA must be paid, the group added, including through climate finance as well as a slashing of greenhouse gas emissions and Covid-19 vaccine equity.
Only one more week until the Global Climate Strike!
The Global North has a climate debt to humanity. Reparations to MAPA must be paid for the historic injustices of the richest elite. Together we will fight for a just future where no one is left behind. #UprootTheSystem pic.twitter.com/JDzZjsIx8N
— Mitzi Jonelle Tan #UprootTheSystem (@mitzijonelle) September 17, 2021
Ahead of the strike the climate activists laid out a set of messages to world leaders, including for them to “work towards a genuinely global recovery from Covid-19 by ensuring equitable vaccine distribution worldwide and suspending intellectual property restrictions on Covid-19 technologies,” calling that effort “an essential step towards a global, green, and just recovery.”
Leaders are also being pushed to “recognize the invaluable impact of biodiversity on Indigenous communities’ lives and culture, and commit to make ecocide an international punishable crime.”
Alot of criticism hitting me lately about how I should stop striking.
So here’s the thing I AIN’T gonna let no one turn me around. I am determined to fight for future generations and save the Earth.
See you on the streets on 24th Sept. #UprootTheSystem #ClimateActionNow pic.twitter.com/U4jGRMUpgJ
— Nakabuye Hilda F. (@NakabuyeHildaF) September 17, 2021
The general public should also take actions to uproot the system, according to organizers, who encouraged people to “fight alongside MAPA,” highlight those communities’ voices and resistance, and “follow the lead of environmental defenders, workers, and those most ignored.”
Fridays for Future Scotland—the country where world leaders will gather next month for the United Nations climate talks known as COP 26—emphasized in a Monday tweet that its climate activists are undeterred in their fight for urgent and bold climate action.
40,000 young people marched in cities across Scotland, over 200,000 marched across the UK and millions marched globally. We will be heard, the young people are watching you.
Glasgow – 11am, Kelvingrove Park to George Square
Edinburgh – 11am, Scottish Parliament
— FFF Scotland🌍 (@FFF_Scotland) September 20, 2021
“Two years ago, young people all over the world marched to demand action on climate change,” the group tweeted. “Unfortunately, we still have to protest and shout even louder than before. The school strikers haven’t gone anywhere, join us for the global climate strike this Friday.”