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Byron Shire
May 10, 2021

Byron rises to demand climate action

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Locals turned out in their thousands, filling Jonson Street from the beachfront all the way back to The Rails, to support the Student Strike 4 Climate last Friday. Photo Anais Stewart-Long.

Why we are striking?

‘Because the science tells us that in fact emissions are rising,’ called out organiser Mia Thom to the unprecedented crowd at the Byron Bay Student Strike 4 Climate last Friday morning.

‘That the ice caps are melting at an alarming rate. That the acidification of the oceans is going to cause a collapse of coral reefs around the world.

‘That 50 per cent of the Great Barrier Reef has been bleached. That the Amazon, our Earth’s lungs, are burning, and have been for a month. That one million species are on the verge of extinction. That our planet, that is currently the home to seven billion people, may only be able to support one billion if we cannot stop the temperature from rising. 

‘And that is why we are striking! Because we are frightened, we are terrified out of our minds because our world is literally on fire.

‘The international report on climate change estimated that we have now 11 years to limit global warming before change is irreversible. Before we reach the tipping point of complete ecosystem collapse.’

Largest rally Byron has seen

This is the largest rally that has ever taken place in Byron Bay with estimates between 6,000 and 10,000 people, with police estimates at around 7,000 protesters.

As the rally grew in size at the Byron Rec Grounds during the morning, police quickly realised that owing to the large numbers the march could not be contained on the footpath. As they chanted their way to the beachfront, the marchers filled half of Jonson Street, extending from Marvel Street to the beach as they called for immediate action on the climate crisis.

Speaking to the crowd, Mia Thom made it abundantly clear why people were there.

‘At school I have heard 12-year-old children debate what is the point in even planning for a future. My 13-year-old sister asked me if it would be possible for her to even have kids.

‘It is in moments like these when the despair can become blinding. All-consuming.

‘Yet look around us today, at the thousands gathered. Feel the very power that reverberates within the air. We are a force to be reckoned with, a force that our own government is scared of.

‘Movements of civil disobedience can topple systems. Can instigate lasting, enduring change. We have witnessed it across history, and we will witness it again.’

It is estimated that 300,000 to 350,000 people rallied around Australia, and around four million worldwide as the grassroots movement to respond to climate change accelerates.


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3 COMMENTS

  1. Children should boycott all wireless technology as it uses a huge amounts of electricity.
    In “The Power of the Wireless Cloud”, from the University of Melbourne Center for Energy Efficient communications, the authors point out that wireless systems use 15 to 23 times more energy than wired systems…. Up to 90% of this consumption is attributable to wireless access network technologies, data centres account for only 9%.”.
    So there you have it, an opportunity to reduce pollution which they can directly take immediately, get rid of thier smart phones and demand wifi be removed from schools and be wired…. lets see how serious children are…. lead by example.

  2. You,ve got your answer here Anton. No responses. We`ll save the world but only if it doesn`t inconvenience us.
    Typical shallow non thinkers who parrot what they are told.
    Like Saint Greta who sailed in a wind powered boat to the USA to save killing the world but had to fly two people over to sail the boat back.
    Here,s a bet!. I bet she doesn`t sail back again once she,s out of the eye.

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