Protest marches really work, argues Greta

Warning: Greta addressed 15,000 people at the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate event last week. © Getty

She accused politicians and the media of ignoring the climate emergency and “sweeping their mess under the rug”. She added, “Activism works, so I’m telling you to act. We are being betrayed.”

What’s happening

Greta Thunberg has warned “those in power” she will “not be silenced when the world is on fire”. The teenager was welcomed by chants of “Greta, Greta” as she addressed some 15,000 people on Friday.

She was speaking at the climate strike event on College Green in Bristol, before leading a march.

Find out more

Wet weather failed to deter thousands of people turning out for the 17-year-old.

“Our leaders behave like children, so it falls to us to be the adults in the room. They are failing us but we will not back down,” Greta told the crowds.

“It should not be this way, but we have to tell the uncomfortable truth. They sweep their mess under the rug and ask children to clean up for them.

“This emergency is being completely ignored by the politicians, the media and those in power.

“Basically, nothing is being done to halt this crisis despite all the beautiful words and promises from our elected officials.

“So what did you do during this crucial time? I will not be silenced when the world is on fire.”

Does protest really work? What do you think?

Some say…

Yes. Protests can produce results. Serbians ousted a dictator through nonviolent resistance, and Egyptians followed 10 years later. In recent American politics, the teenage survivors of the Parkland High School shooting created a national movement that is forcing government officials to consider responsible gun control.

Others think…

No. Protests hardly ever achieve their ends. As you read these words, thousands of protests are taking place around the world. Sadly 99% of them will make absolutely no difference to official government policies. For example, protests in the US and the UK against the Iraq war did nothing to curb the invasion.

You Decide

  1. Are protest marches worth it?

Activities

  1. Design a poster that you would like to carry on a protest. It can be about anything you really care about.

Some People Say...

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth, and compassion against injustice and lying, and greed. If people all over the world [...] would do this, it would change the Earth.”

William Faulkner (1897-1962), US novelist and Nobel prize winner

What do you think?

Word Watch

College Green
Originally, a small hill north of the River Avon College Green was enclosed to form the precincts of St Augustine’s Abbey (now Bristol Cathedral) in the 12th Century.
Elected officials
People, such as MPs and local councillors, who make the laws and regulations that govern modern society.
Crucial
Important, vital.
Ousted
Sacked. removed.
Parkland High School shooting
On 14 February 2018, a gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people and injuring 17 others.

Subjects

PDF Download

Please click on "Print view" at the top of the page to see a print friendly version of the article.