Solidarity spoke to Vivienne Paduch, a Year 10 student at Manly Selective School and one of the organisers of Sydney’s Strike for Climate last year about why students have called a second Climate Strike.

What did so many students join the Climate Strike in December?

The reason our movement has gained so much traction amongst the youth is that people are really scared. In the past the climate argument has always come from scientists and academics who put very logical and reasonable arguments but this is the first time people have been fighting with their hearts. All the emotion that was part of the strike was a huge reason it’s gained so much momentum.

What did you think of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s statement that “kids should go to school” and demanding “less activism in schools”?

It was infuriating, it really just proved how much the politicians aren’t listening to us, how much of a disconnect there is.

So many people pointed out that if there was proper climate action being taken in parliament, we wouldn’t need to protest. So the ball is in your court Scott Morrison.

What kind of action are you calling for to deal with climate change?

We know that the climate crisis is mainly caused by non-renewable energy sources and in particular coal, so the biggest and easiest transition we can make is no new coal plants. The school strike has three key demands: Stop Adani, No new coal and gas, and 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 with the goal of Australia being carbon neutral.

It shouldn’t really matter what party is in government the fact remains we need to take climate action now.

What is planned for the second Climate Strike?

The next strike is 15 March and this time it’s a global strike. They are happening in all the capital cities in Australia plus more than 20 rural towns and cities.

The reason there’s a second strike is because the message of the first strike has not been followed. We gained a lot of traction but we’ve got to keep fighting until our three demands are met and Australia takes climate action. We know that our message resonates with a lot of people. The issue of climate change crosses party boundaries and affects everyone. We think that the movement will just keep growing.

See here for details of the School Strike 4 Climate across the country

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