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?
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
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.
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.