Australian climate change protest

Across Australia today classrooms have been left emptier than usual as tens of thousands of students take to the streets with a clear message for politicians:  act now on climate change! 

In Sydney, one of 55 locations where protests will be held in Australia, thousands of students and teachers gathered at Town Hall at midday, chanting "stop Adani" and "when we say students, you say power"

"Today is the day that we prove that as young people we have a voice to make a change for our future," Sydney event organiser Alexia Giannesini told SBS News.

"We are the people who are going to be most affected by climate change so it’s up to us to have the biggest voice and emphasise to our politicians that it’s our future that’s at stake.”

Student emcees said because they weren't able to vote, they were striking to make their voices heard.

"If you care about us, and the millions of people living on this planet right now, then you need to work with us," they said. 

They have three main demands; stop the Adani coal mine, no new coal or gas and 100 per cent renewables by 2030.

Thirteen-year-old Alex Buttler and Ashleigh Murray, who attended the Sydney strike, said it was ridiculous that they had to protest in the first place.

“Adults and people in power should have the common sense to it let it happen in the first place," they said. 

At a similar action in Melbourne hundreds of protesters attended.

But it wasn't just the capital cities that jumped on board, with events planned for Orange, Tamworth, Bendigo, Mackay, Port Macquarie, Alice Springs and more. 

At the Cairns event, where hundreds of people turned up for the action, strike co-organiser Piper Lily O'Connell, 16, said: "we have less than 12 years to act and we need to take action now". 

"My generation has done the least to contribute to climate change. We're going to be the ones who will be living through the worst of it," she told ABC News. 

The country-wide strike comes months after students first skipped school for the Strike 4 Climate Action protests, which brought thousands of kids out onto Australian streets - sparking condemnation from Prime Minister Scott Morrison. 

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