How the Scottish Youth Climate Strike started

In August 2018, a 15-year-old girl named Greta Thunberg sat in front of the Swedish Parliament for three weeks to protest against the government’s inaction on climate change. Her actions inspired school students around the world to start their own protests, including those in Scotland. On February 15th 2019, hundreds of Scottish students walked out of their classrooms and took to the streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh to demand action on climate change from both local and national governments. The youth climate strike movement has continued to grow in strength since then, with strikes happening every month across Scotland.

How the Scottish Youth Climate Strike started

In May of 2019, the Scottish Youth Climate Strike (SYCS) began with a strike in Glasgow. The largest climate strikes in history had just taken place on April 25th and 26th across 127 different countries; however, this was the first time that schoolchildren in Scotland walked out of class to demand urgent action be taken against climate change. Since then, SYCS have held regular protests outside of government buildings and key locations around Scotland as well as delivering petitions to MPs demanding they take more decisive steps towards mitigating the effects of climate change.

The idea for SYCS came about after Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg started her Fridays For Future campaign wherein she would skip school every Friday to protest outside Sweden’s parliament until her country took measures to become carbon-neutral. Her actions inspired other young people around Europe and North America to do likewise; soon there were reports from Italy, Belgium France & Germany of students striking weekly.

The inspiration behind the strike

When Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish student, decided to protest outside her country’s parliament every Friday until they took significant action on climate change, she had no idea that she would start a global movement. But that’s exactly what happened.

Inspired by Thunberg’s solitary protests, which she began in August 2018, students around the world started their own Friday strikes for climate action. The first official US strike was held on March 15th 2019 and soon spread to over 2200 cities in 129 countries across the globe. And as of September 20th 2019 – just one week before the Global Climate Strike – youth activists from 40 nations have pledged to join forces and walk out of school together .

The planning and execution of the strike

The planning and execution of the strike is a fascinating story. It all started with some young people in Scotland who were concerned about climate change and wanted to do something about it. They decided to hold a youth climate strike, which would be a protest against the lack of action on climate change by the Scottish government.

They created a Facebook group and invited their friends to join. The group quickly grew, and soon they had over 1,000 members. They then made plans for the strike, which included choosing a date, time, location, and what they would do during the strike . On March 15th 2019 , they held their first ever youth climate strike outside of Glasgow City Chambers . Thousands of students across Scotland skipped school to attend ߚan estimated 10%of all secondary pupils”.

The impact of the strike

The climate strike movement has been growing rapidly in recent months, with young people leading the charge. The most notable event so far has been the Scottish Youth Climate Strike on February 15th, which saw over 20,000 school students walk out of class to protest inaction on climate change.

The strikers had a list of demands for the Scottish government, including declaring a climate emergency and committing to net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. The protesters were also calling for an end to fracking and investment in renewable energy sources.

The scale of the strike took many people by surprise, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who met with some of the organisers afterwards. It’s clear that this is an issue that young people feel passionately about and are willing to take action on. With more strikes planned in other parts of Scotland and across the UK, it looks like this could be just the start of something much bigger.

How the Scottish Youth Climate Strike started
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