Scores of children are set to skip school today to join the Global Climate Strike against inaction over climate change, with protests planned in almost 1,700 towns and cities in over 100 countries. 55 events have been planned in Australia, while India will be witnessing 33 events as part of the global strike. Students in China, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and other Asian countries too will be participating in the international protest, reports CNN. Protests have already begun in New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and Thailand, with around 20,000 people and students turning up for the protests in Melbourne alone.
Meanwhile, the mosque shootings at Christchurch, New Zealand have brought the protests to a halt as all Council-owned facilities and major areas - where the protests were taking place - have been put under lockdown. The protesters, mostly students, have been ushered to civic buildings, as distraught parents try to establish the safety of their children. "To all the young people who participated in the #schoolstrike4climate across Aotearoa today: You are hope on a dark day. You are light in darkness. You showed love on a day marked by hate. Never be silenced," David Tong, who runs WWF New Zealand's climate change programme tweeted.
While most politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel have supported the protests by students, many have slammed the demonstrations, labelling the act by students as "truancy". The global movement has been inspired by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has been protesting outside the Swedish Parliament every Friday since August 2018 against inaction over climate change. Thunberg, who called for the March 15 international strike, has inspired students from all around the world to take to the streets on Fridays, leading to the protests being known as "Fridays for Future".