Fridays for Future organisers hope to see thousands of Czech teenagers protesting climate change in action

14-03-2019

Thousands of high-school students across the world are preparing to take part in a big protest against the lack of action being undertaken to stop climate change. The movement, known as Fridays for Future, also has a Czech branch, which has attracted over a thousand students and a hundred academics.

Photo: Filip Jandourek / Czech RadioPhoto: Filip Jandourek / Czech Radio Why study for a future, which may not be there? That is one of the questions that Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, asked herself when she refused to go to school and decided to sit in front of her country’s parliament until progress was made in combating the onset of climate change.

The initial lonely protest soon inspired an international student movement called Fridays for Future, which attracted followers from more than a hundred countries across the world.

A few months later, 15-year-old Greta was asked to give a speech at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice.

Her statement was frank.

“You only speak of green eternal economic growth, because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency break.

“We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. We need to keep the fossil fuels in the ground and focus on equity. And if solutions within this system are so impossible to find then maybe we should focus on changing the system itself.”

Now a worldwide student protest has been prepared and will take place on Friday, March 15th. In the Czech Republic alone, marches will take place in eighteen spots across the country.

It is not the first protest organised by the Czech branch. In February they organised a march urging Prague City Hall to declare a state of climate emergency in the capital, a move that many other capitals across the globe have gone through with in recent months, including London.

Those interested can find out more about the protest locations across the Czech Republic here: www.fridaysforfuture.cz/globalni-stavka-15-3

The initial Czech Branch’s founders numbered just three people. But after an influx of followers, one of its leaders, Lucie Myslikova, says she believes thousands could be marching in the streets on Friday.

“We were very pleasantly surprised that after making the event public and some communication with the media there was a quick growth in interest. Currently, over a thousand high school students have signed our petition, which was a very nice surprise for us. New signatures are still coming in and we expect it to be a big protest numbering in the thousands across the Czech Republic.”

Her colleague, Petr Doubravský, told Czech Radio that pushing for political change is the best course of action, because the public has no control over the greenhouse gasses produced by multinational corporations.

Some fellow students have accused those who will attend of simply avoiding school, but the organisers insist the amount of time spent on planning the event and pushing through demands far exceeds the hours they will miss out on in school.

14-03-2019