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“There’s no planet B”: over 300,000 strike in Australia over climate change

MELBOURNE, Australia: The Global Climate Strike, which grew out of the School Strike 4 Climate movement founded by Swedish teen Greta Thunberg, drew crowds of about 300,000 people all over Australia.

Organizers described Friday’s turnout as the biggest nationwide since 500,000 people protested against the Iraq war in 2003.

More than 130,000 people rallied in Melbourne and Brisbane.

Protests were not confined to Australia’s capital cities, demonstrations were held in the cold of Mount Hotham and in the heat of Alice Springs.

In Sydney, approximately 50,000 people attended the strikes according to New South Wales Police while the organizers said the Domain’s capacity of 80,000 was reached.

Tens of thousands of children demanded the older generation to “clean up their mess” as they called for stronger climate action during mass protests across the country.

Despite orders from the federal and state governments for pupils to stay in school, almost 80,000 Sydney students defied orders to join the demonstration.

“Today I want to tell all the grown-ups that our environment is important and we need to protect it,” Richmond Public School student Andrea Villafaña, 10, told the rally.

“I’m here today because I’m scared of living in a world with no turtles. I’m scared of living in a world without the Great Barrier Reef”

In Chinchilla, to the west of Brisbane, Ariel Ehlers held her own strike on a footpath outside Chinchilla State School.

She said, “While a fair few Year 6 students know about climate change, they don’t really know enough to try to make a difference. I made a PowerPoint presentation for them and they really seemed to appreciate that.”

The school strike for climate movement has posed three demands: no new coal or gas projects, 100% of electricity generated through renewable energy by 2030 and the provision of a fund to support a ‘just transition’ for fossil-fuel workers and their communities.