Friday 20 September and CCAS joined the #GlobalClimateStrike in both Canberra and Brisbane. An estimated 35-40,000 people took to the streets of Queensland’s capital and 15,000 in the National Capital joining millions throughout Australia and the world. Judging from Instagram there was an impressive turnout from Canberra’s arts organisations who took time out to support young people from schools across the globe who are taking the future into their own hands – in the seemingly endless battle against ignorance and greed that has placed the entire planet in grave peril. It was (of course) a hotter than usual September afternoon in Brisbane as thousands gathered in Queens Gardens at the feet of a statue of Queen Victoria. Queensland has some particular concerns around the Great Barrier Reef, Adani and an early start to the bush fire season with little or no water to fight with. The demo kicked off with a heartfelt and defiant Welcome to Country from Yuggera Elder Aunty Deb Sandy and a host of students from local schools and Trade Unions who gave inspiring speeches born of anger and frustration. Another highlight was a slam poem Save our World written and read by 10 year old School Striker from Annerley, Parker R, who received a rousing (to say the least) ovation.
Things were also heating up in Canberra last Friday as the city supported its young leaders at #climatestrikecanberra. At Glebe Park there were badge-making stalls, drummers and an array of funny, heartbreaking, clever signs and banners. Inspiring speeches by our youth, Trade Union leaders and performances by talented teens kicked off our march through the city, which saw an estimated 15,000 climate warriors walk down Bundah Street to Garema Place and back to Glebe Park. Even though the message is dire, it was heartening to see that climate action is important to so many people; this is how change is made.