Climate change is here, and our government is holding the door open for it. Year after year, reports show that this crisis is getting worse. And that’s exactly why we can’t wait for change: we have to make change.
On March 17, the National Union of Students (NUS) has called a day of protest across the country. NUS is the federal student union in Australia, which encompasses dozens of student unions across the country. This federal body has a vested interest in student issues nation-wide, and climate justice is one of them.
Climate change is a serious issue for students and will only become more important as the effects of the crisis worsen. The 2019 bushfires had devastating impacts across the country. There are hundreds in Lismore who remain homeless after last year’s devasting floods. Brisbane workers and students were affected by the same floods in February. We know this as QUT students, as our own Gardens Point campus was flooded and subsequently closed last year.
The “rich and powerful” continue to rake in profits off the back of destroying the natural world. Billionaire mining magnates like Gina Rinehart line their pockets with cash as temperatures, sea levels, and carbon emissions continue to rise. Profit for the tiny minority, and crises for the majority is the order of the day. This desperately needs to change.
The Labor Party does more to accelerate climate change than it does to end it. After the federal election they passed a greenwashing bill that doesn’t even ban new coal projects. This party would rather protect the fossil fuel industry than prevent climate disasters. They have also been involved in criminalizing climate justice protestors. The Labor Party has proven they do not hold the interests of ordinary people or students at heart.
Climate catastrophes were once-in-a-lifetime events. Now, they happen like clockwork. We can’t put our faith in the politicians, so instead we have to fight them. We need more students involved in activism to fight against the rich and powerful, as well as their puppets in parliament. Everyone should fight for climate justice and against the system that breeds injustice.
Students interested in activism and climate justice: this is a call to come out and protest our federal government and the billionaire climate criminals. On March 17, students across the country will take to the streets and have our voices heard. Mass student protests are a powerful weapon against the government. It’s huge numbers of people taking to the streets and shaking up the system that can win change.
There’s so much to fight for. The protest is demanding that the Labor government across Australia shut down all fossil fuels (including oil and gas), tax the rich to fund renewables, strengthen land rights for Indigenous people, and end repression of protestors. For any of this to be accomplished we’ll need to challenge the “rich and powerful”, and the government.
We need to rebuild the power that students have in order to fight and win our demands. To learn more about the protest, students can follow the Facebook page QUT Students for Climate Justice. Here you’ll find any and all protest information. And for anyone keen on participating in activism, you can see upcoming events here too!
Students must come out and protest for climate justice, there can never be too many people challenging the system!
I’m Isabella, the environment officer in the QUT Guild and a member of Socialist Alternative. I’m passionate about fighting for climate justice and believe that many QUT students are too. I want to provide ways for students to get involved in activism at QUT and across Brisbane. This year, you’ll see me at every environment rally in the city – and I hope to see you too!