Reading & District Labour Party Supported the Global Climate Strike in Reading today with Trade Unions and other organisations joining school children from across the area.

Reading West PPC Rachel Eden speaks at the Reading Climate March

Those attending the march in Reading were responding to a call from Greta Thunberg and her student comrades for adults to join them in a world-wide #Strike4Climate on Friday 20th September.  They say, “To change everything, we need everyone. It is time for all of us to unleash mass resistance … If we [demand change] in numbers we have a chance.”

Mohamed Nasheed, former Maldives President says, “When politicians won’t act to fix a problem or solve an injustice, the people must hold them accountable. The climate crisis is an energy problem and an intergenerational injustice – and politicians are not addressing either. I support the climate strikers 100%.”

Since Thunberg started her solo protest last August, we have seen the students’ strikes develop. At first they were simply about polar bears and heat, but now, as they grow more powerful, they also talk about climate jobs, a green new deal and system change. Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein and others have written an open letter urging adults to  join the strike. They say,

“At the request of the young people —we’re walking out of our workplace and homes to spend the day demanding action on climate change, the great existential threat that all of us face. It’s a one day climate strike and it will not be the last. This is going to be the beginning of a week of climate action all over the world. And we hope to make it a turning point in history. ———- Day by day, business as usual is creating an ecological crisis that is destroying the chance for a healthy safe future on our planet.”

Some trade unions have been particularly active in calling out their members. Germany’s second-largest labour union has urged its two million members to strike. “We can only protect the climate together,” tweeted Verdi, a service sector union. Frank Bsirske, Verdi’s head, called on the union’s two million members to take part. “Whoever can, should march and participate,” said Bsirske in a tweet. “Anyway, I’ll be going.” Italy’s largest union, representing 5.5 million workers, has announced it will mobilise its members on 27th  September.

The Strike marks the start of the weeklong movement to surround the UN Climate Summit being held on the 23rd September in New York, which aims to meet the climate challenge by accelerating actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. According to the Global Climate Strike website, the event is on track to be the largest ever “global mobilisation against climate breakdown.” “It is time for world leaders to wake up to the truth of the climate crisis,” organisers of the strike said in a statement last month. “By demonstrating people’s power, we will make this week a turning point in history. The climate crisis is an emergency. We have to act like it, so we will stop our business as usual and show governments people want climate justice.”

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