Strikes over climate becoming part of museum collections
The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is collecting to document social action against climate change.
With climate-related health impacts a certainty for the future of Aotearoa New Zealand, social movement demanding climate change action has never been more important.
School Strike 4 Climate, an international movement encouraging young people to strike for the climate, was instigated by Greta Thunberg in 2018. Aotearoa New Zealand quickly took part, and our strikes became some of the largest of the movement. Approximately 20,000 students attended the protest in March 2019, and 170,000 ‘intergenerational’ strikers in September of the same year.
Now, every year, thousands of school children across Aotearoa New Zealand take to the streets to strike in support of School Strike 4 Climate NZ. Te Papa has been adding climate protest-related objects to its collection since the inception of the movement in our country.
Museums have a responsibility to collect objects that give future generations glimpses into how we lived and what we valued. To document moments in time that were impactful to our communities and society. To the future generations for whom climate-related health impacts are a reality, this will indicate that our youth took climate change seriously.
School Strike 4 Climate
While the movement has garnered criticism, supporters of School Strike 4 Climate are adamant that only through such radical action can they adequately highlight the severe impacts of the climate crisis.
But what do they want? At its core, School Strike 4 Climate is a call to action for meaningful and transformative policies that will protect the environment. School Strike 4 Climate wants climate policies to be prioritised, and demands institutions take responsibility for climate harm.
Through loud and collective action, School Strike 4 Climate is challenging the government to take decisive steps to address climate change. Their demands include:
* A 50% reduction in emissions by 2030.
* A full transition to regenerative agriculture by 2030.
* Te Tiriti-centred climate decision-making.
* Lowering the voting age to 16.
By making their voices heard, the youth of today are urgently calling for decision-makers to sit up and take notice. School Strike 4 Climate is calling for climate justice. Because it’s only fair that the children of today enjoy a healthy planet tomorrow, and future generations to come.