On September 20, hundreds of thousands of Australians – and millions around the world – rallied together in what has become one of the largest protest events in our history. Were you there?
By Sonya Semmens
Were you at the climate strike? Did you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the schoolchildren of your city or town? Did you make a sign – holding cardboard aloft in the sea of slogans that began with one schoolgirl, and one sign, in Sweden just over a year ago?
Did you strike for the climate on Friday 20th September?
I did. I stood with my two children and 150,000 other Melbournians. We marched in solidarity with 300,000 other Australians, and millions around the world. We got hot and it was squashy. But my son and my daughter didn’t lower their signs once – which they wrote and coloured in themselves.
We marched while our prime minister Scott Morrison schmoozed his new BFF Donald Trump. While he skipped the UN Climate Summit – his seat shamefully empty. While he turned a blind eye to the fires raging across Queensland, and a deaf ear to our Pacific neighbours, begging us to stop trading dirty coal that deepens climate change.
We marched because the movement has begun. We marched because leadership looks like children. Because the future has always belonged to them and not us, and in Greta’s own words: how dare we?
How dare we not become champions for our climate, for our earth and for their future?
I’ll see you at the next one.
But first, I'll leave you with some words from Richard Di Natale:
“Thank you to all our Climate Champions!
You are powering a movement for change in our country, at the most important time in history for bold climate activism. We’ll keep you posted on the impact you’re having on the streets and in our parliament over the next critical months. Together with you, we can do this.”
Sonya Semmens is mum to Spencer (10) and Mieka (8), and a Greens Climate Champion since August 2019.