This Changes Everything

“The older generations have failed tackling the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced.

Over a million school children around the world went on strike on March 15 to demand more ambitious action on climate change. From Australia to Sri Lanka, the United States to Nigeria, organizers of the Youth for Climate March reported that over 2,000 protests occurred in over 150 countries worldwide.

The marches were inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen who has stood outside her country’s parliament every Friday since August of 2018 in protest of the government’s inaction on climate reform.

The Youth Strike for Climate protests demonstrate a growing pattern of grassroots youth activism related to climate change. It’s their future, their planet, and they’re taking the stand that generations before them failed to take.

More than 3,000 students from the Scottish Highlands to Cornwall joined the strike, defying threats of detention and pressure from teachers to stay in class, to voice their frustrations about the inaction of policymakers to address negative environmental impacts. In London, where 40,000 people a year die from virulent exposure to air pollution, protesters stood outside of parliament blocking the roads, chanting, and holding up signs.

In a manifesto published by The Guardian UK, the UK Student Climate Network (one of the major organizers of the marches there) said that the “burden for creating change we need to see in the world has…fallen upon us and our peers around the world, unified in our common struggle to address the climate crisis.” 

UK protesters are demanding the following: a declaration of a climate emergency, education reform that includes ecological crisis curriculum, better communication between the government and the public about the severity of climate change, and for the voting age to be lowered to 16. Our documentary captures young Londoners’ urgent call to members of Parliament to take action now. 

Younger people are more passionate about shifting the focus to climate change, and we hope to highlight the work that youth are doing to ensure the issues created are not irreversible.

This 11-minute short film was a joint effort between Northeastern students Amaya Williams, Avital Brodski, Megan Golba, Saakhi Singh, Sarah Nano, Sofie Kato, Vanshika Singla and Melissa Wells. The production was guided by Professor Michelle Carr of their Documentary Filmmaking course during their six-week study abroad experience in London, summer of 2019. The air date for this video was June 4, 2019.

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