Former Liberal MP – now an independent – Julia Banks says she supports the strike.
“I’m so proud that there are students participating in this march today,” she says.
James Shaw, the joint-leader of the New Zealand Greens who was assaulted yesterday on his way to parliament, has come out in support for the strikers, still sporting a black eye.
Shaw is also New Zealand’s climate change minister. He says thanks to a pair of bystanders who came to his help, and says “I’m ok, I’m back at work and I’m very much looking forward to today’s school strike for climate”.
Australia’s education minister, Dan Tehan, has told striking students they should protest “after school”.
“[For] other action on issues that they think is important, they should do after school or on weekends,” he just told media in Melbourne. “No-one is going to stop them from doing that. What our message is loud and clear today to all students, be in school, join the National Action Day against Bullying”.
A reporter asks: “Can’t they do both? Is one afternoon off really going to harm their education?”
Tehan: “Students leaving school during school hours to protest is not something that we should encourage. Especially when they are being encouraged to do so by green political activists. They should be encouraging students to stay at school.”
The strikes begin
Good morning everyone. Today, across Australia, New Zealand and then the world – tens of thousands of young people are taking to the streets, protesting inaction on climate change and the destruction of their future.
Last year, they brought Australia’s cities to a stop. In Sydney’s Martin Place, the noise echoed off the walls. This time it’s global. Part of a worldwide movement, variously known as #climatestrike, #schoolstrike4climate or #FridaysforFuture, there are over 1,500 strikes planned today across 100 countries.
I’ll be here covering the strikes for the Australian and Asian timezones. From Geelong to Jakarta, however long it takes. New Zealand has already started.
I’ll be keeping you updated on the news, the reaction and as always, the best signs from each protest.
As always, there’s a lot to explain and a lot going on. Here, we have a comprehensive hide to Australia’s strikes. Here’s some background on the global effort – inspired by 16-year old Greta Thunberg.
The key thing to remember is that, somewhere in the world, at some kind of scale, this sort of thing happens every Friday. Today it’s just going to be happening everywhere at once.
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