NZ Climate Strike: What’s happening?
Across New Zealand on Friday, thousands of students took to the streets in protest against the global climate crisis.
They want the Kiwi government to do everything in its power to keep global warming below 1.5C.
It’s estimated 170,000 protesters were out in force in towns and cities up and down the country to make their stand in the name of action on climate change.
The latest demonstrations follow a week of global protests and events after millions across the world marched with banners, placards and a collective voice on September 20.
Greta Thunberg’s scathing message to world leaders at the UN
Five things you need to know from the UN Climate Summit
Millions take to the streets for climate action
Are you suffering from climate change anxiety?
In Auckland, thousands of young demonstrators joined arms on Quay Street to mark the point where sea levels are expected to rise by two metres come 2160.
This followed a rally at Aotea Square at midday where a number of figures gave speeches, before the demonstration continued down Queen Street, the CBD’s main thoroughfare, and finally to Quay Street.
The protests were expected to wrap up around 3pm.
Can adults join in?
Protest organiser Sarah Paton-Baverley had encouraged parents and everyday workers to join the protests.
However, for working adults, it’s not as straightforward as walking out of the office and hoping your union has got your back – because it won’t.
These demonstrations don’t constitute a “strike” in the eyes of employment law.
Legally, a strike can only take place on the grounds of collective bargaining or if employees hold serious health and safety concerns over their employer or workplace.
Official notice must also be given – and agreed upon – for a strike to legally go ahead.
Therefore, the best advice is to request annual leave from your employer if you wish to partake in the demonstrations.
Some employers may grant leave without pay for humanitarian or social causes, such as volunteering, so check with your boss on what’s possible and if you can negotiate some time away.
What do the ‘strikers’ want?
The thousands of youngsters striking want New Zealand to do everything in its power to keep global temperature rises below 1.5C.
Furthermore, they want parliament to declare a climate emergency and are calling for cross-party commitment to the Zero Carbon Bill.
The strikes also represent a demand to end all exploration of fossil fuels and for increased investment in building a renewable and sustainable economy.