What’s interesting about the media coverage of last week’s School Strike for Climate is that despite it being an event organised by and for my generation, almost none of the articles written about it have been written by the students who were striking. While it makes sense that the media isn’t going to hand over their platforms to a group of 'rowdy teenagers', it might be more interesting to see what ‘the youth’ (as we’ve been ominously labelled) have to say about our actions, rather than Andrea Leadsom, Toby Young, and the rest of the politicians we were trying to inspire calling us ‘truants’ or 'idiots' for believing in ‘crude propaganda’.

So here, for your enjoyment and consideration, are the voices of ‘the youth’, those who decided to strike and why they did. As one of my favourite posters said, ‘We’re skipping school to educate you.’

Khadija and Marni, aged 16

Why are you striking?

‘Because climate change is real and no one in power seems to remember that’

What do you think your school should know?

‘That something has to be done, and there’s no point in getting an education if the world isn’t around for us to use it in’

Do you have anything you’d like to say to Theresa May?

‘Use your power in a way that will inspire us, not that will make us ashamed.’

Joe, aged 12

Why are you striking?

‘This is a big issue which is going to affect us later on in life. We’ve only got twelve, eleven years.’

What did your parents say about you striking?

‘I have the support of my parents and the support of my school. It’s technically an unauthorised absence, but the headteacher says that he’s unofficially supportive.’

Do you have anything you’d like to say to anyone reading this?

‘Please take climate change seriously- it’s the biggest issue we face today’

Roberta, aged 14

Why are you striking today?

‘I’m marching because I don’t want to raise my children in a world that is ruined by climate change’

What was the response to you striking today?

‘My parents are ok with it’

And your school?

'They didn’t let us, they were quite strict about it, so we’re rebelling.’

So did you walk out of school?
Yeah! they weren’t happy about it, but this is more important than one day of school, this affects our whole futures.

Amelia, aged 15

Why are you striking today?

‘Because we deserve change, and we deserve better.

So are your parents supporting you striking today?

Yes, but our school isn’t. They made a rule against it, which is stupid, because the whole point is that it’s a strike.

So do you have anything you’d like to say to your school or to anyone else?

F*ck Theresa May! She isn’t listening!

Amy, aged 14

Why are you striking today?

Because climate change needs to stop!

Are your parents supportive of you being here?

Yes, my mum is right there! 

And what about your school?

Well I'm not sure what the teachers think about it, but the majority of the students are actually here.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Climate change- bad! Striking is necessary because the response has just been more proof that nobody takes us seriously. 

I also found a single teacher at the strike, who was along to support the students. 


So where do you teach?

I teach in a school in Newham.

And do you think a lot of your students will be here today?

Well I doubt it, because it's a primary school and it's quite hard for them to get time off, but I have a feeling that in the future I'll be seeing a lot of them here.

So why are you here today?

I think it's particularly important because there's been some very negative comments, from people who should know better- for example politicians. These are young people who are on strike to protect their future- they currently don't have a vote, they have no say in the political process, so they're taking direct action to change that and have their voces heard, and I think that they're exactly the sort of young people we should have in the world, where they're active and engaged and care about citizenship.

And what do you think about schools who have banned their students from attending the strike?

I think it's both short sighted and incredibly ironic. I think that schools should be proud that their students care enough to strike, and that that sort of action will only instigate more determined action on behalf of the students.