The latest round of climate strikes, on Friday 14 February, the first of 2020, marked a year since thousands of school students first walked out to protest at political inaction on climate change.
This round of walkouts was smaller, but the underlying political commitment is still strong. As the year progresses and in the run up to COP26 in Glasgow (9-19 November) the movement is likely to expand again.
Around 1000 people, a mix of older school students, parents with younger school students, and a range of other people attended a demonstration in London, marching through Parliament Square.
Elsewhere in the UK — in Leeds, Bristol, Leicester, Manchester, Norwich, Sheffield... — demonstrations were in the hundreds. In Cambridge comrades organised a stall to show solidarity and build solidarity between UCU strikes and the climate strikes.
In London the PCS union organised a trade union bloc. This is a good initiative, which should continue, but the left needs to get behind it and seriously build it to make it more sizeable.
A comrade from Sheffield reports: ″Left groups outnumbered student climate strikers at the start. But this changed quickly aas a group of young (primary-age) children all from one school arrived with their teachers.
″The University students group enlivened the demonstration which followed what is now a usual route around town, with maybe 200-300 in total. Unfortunately there was no public representation from local Labour groups or unions.
″Speeches at an open mic on the Town Hall steps were generally good, anti-capitalist and focused on building links with the Trades Council and wider workers’ movement.″