Protesters demand climate justice

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Climate protesters are demanding to be heard.

Between 2000 and 3000 people marched down George St to the Octagon to demand climate justice as part of the School Strike 4 Climate on Friday.

The strikes, held worldwide, were part of a movement started by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg (16).

In New Zealand, more than 170,000 people marched – school pupils, university and polytechnic students, workers, parents and elderly.

Many Dunedin residents carried signs which read “March now so we don’t have to swim later”, “For my grandkids” and “Our house is on fire”.

Dunedin School Strike 4 Climate co-organiser Zak Rudin told the crowd in the Octagon they were standing for indigenous, environmental and human rights.

“Today, we stand united to demand climate justice.”

He questioned why the Government had not declared a climate emergency.

Chants of “not enough” erupted when he stated the Government’s Carbon Bill, which would see the country be carbon neutral by 2050, was “not good enough”.

“Systematic change at Government level is the only hope.

“Our society must change now.”

Co-organiser Linea Simons said while change was needed at Government level, everyone needed to do small things individually.

Other speakers told the crowd about the need to be resilient, to fight for the rivers, marae and mountains, and about the scientific facts that had been ignored.

Marcher Maddie Mason (20) told The Star although Friday’s strike was a lot bigger than previous ones, it had the same energy.

“I don’t want my grandkids to ask ‘did you strike?’ and I didn’t.”