GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Thank you School Strike 4 Climate Change


I’ve been to a lot of protest marches in my time but yesterday’s Climate Change march organised by school students is the only one where I have thought “this is REALLY going to make a difference”.

I’ve read estimates of 170,000 people in the streets throughout New Zealand. I would not be surprised .

I was filming in Auckland and the crowd was huge . The marchers were at the botttom of Queen Street when folk were still pouring out of Aotea Square .and the energy and the passion of the young protesters was incredibly uplifting for an old guy like me to witness.

The organisation was superb.

Why did I think this particular march will make a difference?

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1.Many of these young people are close to voting age and they are angry at the brutal climate legacy they are being handed.

2.They don’t believe the “leave it to us ” and “we’re doing all we can” messages of politicians such as Winston Peters who wanted them to stay in school yesterday and are prepared to defy them.

3.They see New Zealand as part of the world, not as some isolated place at the bottom of it. They understand that what we do herein Aotearoa New Zealand matters as much as what is done in the UK ,USA or anywhere else.

Politicians who want to keep their jobs need to listen to this up- and -coming determined generation.

“What do we want?” they yelled in unison yesterday
“Climate Change!”
And when do they want action on it?

Frankly all those young people who organised the School Stike 4 Climate Change protest yesterday, or took part in it, delivered our politicians a far more important lesson than anything they may have missed at school.

As one chant down Queen Street had it ..

” THIS is what democracy looks like!”

Thank you School Strike 4 Climate Change. Yesterday you gave me shot of hope again in our future.

Kia kaha.

Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.


  1. I had the privilege of bringing a few supporters of the Palmy North march yesterday to the town yesterday by bus. They didn’t get their parents to bring them in by car, they paid to go on the bus, doing the right thing. There was a modest crowd marching around the Square. There was some chanting and singing but what interested me was the look of determination on the faces – these were no lazy kids using the march just as an excuse to get off school, they were there for a reason, not asking for anything for themselves but asking for other people to get involved with their cause.
    I admire them for what they are doing.
    I don’t admire the headphoned hate merchants in Newstalk ZB studios who look like park bench bums and think they are society’s spokespeople.

  2. All the young students who took part learnt an important lesson–how to take direct action and say no to authority–whether that be school principals, parents, peers not into it, or grumpy old blokes in denial.

    The feel good day was awesome and very creative, though now there will also be more militant action needed, and more action from non students too. The Government and corporates will need a lot of pressure put on them to get them to act. A good specific demand would be to stop approving bottled water consents for corporate interests, especially off shore owned ones.


    Until that is understood and confronted these protests will achieve nothing.

    • Labour hasn’t given up on the leadership of business … so no real leadership. We all grew up under govts that weren’t scared in any way of ‘sacred’ Richie-riches. But these youngsters in govt seem to have imbibed it. Should fuck’m over as their first act, just to establish the supremacy of the people. Muldoon, Holyoake and Kirk would stand back and smile.

      Quite right about the marches. But I learnt about the invitation to adults on the day. All I can say is I think my big business client might have hived off there. This peculiar govt needs — well, they need other people in there — people on the street en masse to rip them to reality. There is just no one in Parliament!

    • @ MOSA. Yep.
      Did those marching in protest march right past the big foreign banksters chanting “Change? When? Now!”
      And did those marching stop and rage outside the bankster palacades? No? Then they failed to see the enemy looming there in plain sight.
      All and every chanting, marching, egotistical “Oooh! Look at me? I’m protesting… ” without burning tyres, bleeding wounds and water cannons is a clever way for our common enemy, the banks, to watch on impassively as their minions; our politicians, loosen the spigot on our pressure valves. Pressures that commonly builds in angry AO/NZ’ers but always fizzles with a fart noise.
      And as we rage and fizzle? The banksters press down harder with their boots on the backs of our necks.
      It’s exactly like letting the kids out to run around the back yard so they don’t smash up the lounge.
      Here’s the thing to do.
      Run the banksters out of AO/NZ now. Today.
      Sweep the streets of the down trodden and the unlucky and put them into secure, funky, well managed housing then pay them well to heal and reintegrate into the humanity they were forced to flee from.
      Create a government retail banking ministry.
      Re integrate what were once our assets and amenities and make them freely available to us, as they often once were.
      For example:
      Free public train, ferry and bus travel.
      Free education to when students leave University.
      Free electricity.
      Free to air TV and Radio and an AO/NZ-centric website over seen by an integrated global media incorporating leading websites with well established credentials.
      If AO/NZ’s to lead the way in surviving global warming AO/NZ MUST adopt new and leading tech once we get ourselves untangled from the web of lies and deceits the neoliberals have wrapped around us.
      ( @ MB. What’s with the ‘Old white males worried about their dicks falling off narrative? STOP IT! It’s divisive, counter productive and damaging and as an old white guy who does indeed worry that his dick might fall off one day just fucks me off. I thought you were better than that. In rearing children there’s this thing where you ignore the bad, as best one can, and commend the good.)

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