Pictured: Jagveer Singh, YMCA Youth Parliamentarian, at the School Strike 4 Climate Action in Melbourne, with fellow student protestor
Thousands of students today skipped school to protest against government inaction on climate change. Climate change is a top concern for young people in Australia, and for those who cannot yet vote, today was their way of showing this country’s leaders that they do in fact care, and will not be silenced.
At the Y, we believe in the power of inspired young people. And witnessing young people today amplifying their voices on an issue so important to them, and one that impacts their futures the most, was incredible to see.
A national protest in all cities and 20 regional centres, the rally has now received global attention with the BBC and US media coverage.
Our own YMCA Youth Parliamentarian, Jagveer Singh, aged 17, spoke to the energetic crowd of over 3,000 at Melbourne’s rally.
“We are here to demand real action on climate change from our politicians,” Jagveer said.
“It is time for them to stop sucking up to the big corporations and start truly representing their constituents. My parents taught me that if you have a loud voice, you should make the voiceless heard. We may not be old enough to vote yet and that is why we need your support to help us fight for a safe future."
Pictured: Jagveer (second from right) with fellow YMCA Youth Parliamentarians at the School Strike 4 Climate Action
"We must have a say in the decisions made about our future. The message from the students is loud and clear: if you want to govern, you’ve got to commit to keep fossil fuels in the ground,” Jagveer said.
Another young speaker rebutted Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s sentiments about wanting less activism in schools.
“I’d rather be in school than out here begging you to do your jobs properly. You have been elected to act in the interest of what is best for the country.”