Climate Striking 101

REBECKA BERGH

Wait - what’s happening?!

Young people are calling for everyone across the planet to disrupt business as usual by joining the global climate strikes. It’s about sounding the alarm and show politicians that business as usual is no longer an option. Millions of school strikers have already been leaving their classrooms every Friday for over a year and it has completely changed the conversation about climate. Now it’s time for all of us to join them in action. #climatestrike

When?

Friday the 20th of September 2019 is the official strike date for the UK, but activities will be ongoing all week until the 27th, when there’ll be other massive strikes in many other parts of the world.

Why?

The climate crisis is an emergency, but we’re not acting like it and governments are allowing or encouraging oil, coal and gas companies to continue pouring fuel on the fire.If we don’t act now to transition quickly and fairly away from fossil fuels, the injustice of the climate crisis will only get worse.The effects of climate breakdown are already being felt across the world, predominantly by those that have contributed least to the crisis. Wildfires, droughts, severe flooding, tropical storms, and intentional destruction of the natural world are devastating communities with increasing severity. Have a look at our recent 5 part blog posts about system change if you want to get a good overview of what’s really going on.

With the UK climate strike being just 3 days before the UN emergency climate summit begins on the 23rd of September in New York, the strike will send a clear message for urgent and ambitious climate action. The more people that join, the clearer and merrier the message! 

Where?

Worldwide! Find your nearest strike taking place on the 20th of September in this list of locations in the UK.

Who?

EVERYONE. We’re calling for you, your granny, the postman, teachers, CEOs, bus drivers, architects and unicorns. Everyone is needed to disrupt business as usual and join this intergenerational and global climate strike. 

However, we understand that not all of us will be able to go on strike, take a day off or take part in the same ways, this will be different for each individual. But everyone can take a stand and raise our voices where we can, whether it’s on the streets, in the workplace or online. All behind #climatestrike


So - HOW?

  • If you’re at school:

You’ll need permission from your parent/guardian to miss school which is usually only done in situations of illness. Absence can also be granted in ‘exceptional circumstances’ and many of us believe that climate breakdown is ‘exceptional’. We’re not encouraging you to break the law but you can legally strike with permission for absence from your school. You stand the best chance of success with a clear understanding of your personal motivations to strike, consent from your school, and permission from a parent/guardian. Resources to help you talk to your school can be found here, and there are also template letters for parents to send to your school to help you get their permission.

  • If you’re at university/college:

If you’re not already aware of strikes or events happening at your university or college, have a chat with your student’s union or the sustainability officer to see how you could join the strikes or organise other events. 

The University and College Union is urging workers to join the action alongside students at lunchtimes and before and after work, so chances are that the staff at your college/university might already be supporting your desire to strike which makes for a great conversation starter! Make sure to state your reason from being absent on the 20th so that your action builds awareness about the severity of the climate crisis and the sacrifice that you and many others are taking to address it.

No matter your area of study, climate change is already affecting it directly or indirectly and will continue to do so for the rest of your career. Is this covered enough in your curriculum? Why not seize the opportunity to also protest against the lack of teaching on climate change and climate justice across all field of studies?

  • In the workplace:

Many workplaces have decided to join the strikes, and amazing news - your organisation can be one of them! Chatting to a colleague or a sustainability representative about the connections between the climate crisis and your sector can be a great start. Why not share this call to action by Greta Thunberg and many other youth activists in the office as a first step? While the strike definitely is a worthwhile cause taking formal leave for if there ever was one, there might be other options such as taking flexi leave or a volunteering day as well. Again, make sure to state your reason from being absent on the 20th so that your action builds awareness. (And then please share your most fiery out of office reply/sign with us!)

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has urged its members to support student climate strikers. If there are union reps at your workplace, have a chat to them and see how you can join forces! Check out this list of superb ideas for how to organise your workplace



  • In your community:

YES you have one, or maybe even several! Activate your own network in support of the climate strike - join the strikes under your community group banner, organise a fundraiser or maybe have a climate strike pot luck? 

If your community has a digital presence, you can join the strike online as well! Have a look at this guidance to see how you can introduce a banner or a widget on your website on strike day so that absolutely no one can forget about it.

  • Staying safe and well:

Like we mentioned before, this is about rebelling wherever one can rebel. Don’t do anything you’re uncomfortable with and remember to put your own well-being first. If you join the strike in the streets, wear weather appropriate clothing (we might not get that famous UK sunshine), bring a fully charged phone and don’t litter. And enjoy - you’re a part of what looks like it’s going to be The Biggest Climate Protest Ever!

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