• Climate Strike Leicester

Unite in Rebellion

The following is the speech delivered by Lucia Guzy-Kirkden at the September General Strike.

At this moment, across the globe, adults and children are uniting in rebellion to express their fury. Fury against global inaction in the face of the greatest crisis our society has ever known.

Storms rage across our planet, and the Amazon rainforest is burning. And our government sits sheltered in their houses of parliament, squabbling over trade deals and power politics. We have a climate denier for our Prime Minister; a man who has voted against investment in renewables, omitted any mention of climate change in his prime ministerial plans, and received a quarter of a million pounds in funding from climate denial groups.

This is at a time when, more than ever, we need political unity. The government is ignoring the most serious issue at a time when we need it most. We must demand that the unity and drive we as strikers represent today, as adults and children standing together in solidarity, is echoed in parliament. For this crisis has gone beyond party politics. The only question we should be asking our MPs is, 'How are you going to save our civilisation? How are you going to save us, our families, and the families of the future, from the fires of ecological breakdown?' Because when the world is burning, that is all that will matter.

Our movement is powerful. We have done more for the climate cause in one year than protestors have in 30. And it's not just our protesting; we're in the news every day, climate change has become a household issue, and companies are coming on board with our fight. Today, students from 150 countries are striking from school. Companies across the world are allowing their employees to join our marches. This is an incredible step forward. It is clear that our voices, the voices of the young, can have power. So we need to keep on using them. XR says that we need 3.5% of the population to stand up and take direct action for our movement to succeed; we need national cooperation on a massive scale. We need to unite under the agenda of large-scale systemic change. We need to rebel until the government gives us what we want. And they will. Because our movement is gaining following every day, and, soon, our numbers will be so great that Westminster will be unable to ignore us. As people who have realised the danger, it is now our duty to unite and call others to our cause, regardless of their political beliefs or ideology. We need to speak to our parents, we need to speak to our teachers, to our friends, to take every opportunity to put climate change at the forefront of people's minds. Because it only takes one voice and one conversation to change a mind, and bring another person to our cause. So let's speak up and refuse to be ignored. Let's shout louder and louder until we are not only heard, but listened to. Together, we must fight until our government is willing to fight for us.

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