On March 19th, 2021, hundreds of strikers took the streets and social media for the latest Global Day of Climate Action. Those who participated shared their power as they demanded climate action and justice on the climate crisis. Approximately 1,068 strikes happened in 8 countries, from the USA, Canada, Brasil, Mexico, and Argentina in the Americas, to the coldest place on our planet, the Arctic.
This year’s theme was #NoMoreEmptyPromises, which was directed towards politicians, policymakers, fossil fuel investors, and every contributor to the climate crisis
The strike called for five main action points:
- A moratorium on all new fossil fuel projects and an end to all investments in the industry.
- Annual and binding carbon budgets.
- Economic, racial, and gender justice in climate policy.
- A commitment to protect and safeguard democracy and fight for citizen participation in climate decision-making.
- Making ecocide an international crime.
Some of the actions included big strikes on the streets to zoom calls and digital strikes for those who couldn’t go out. Every strike around the world was unique and powerful.
In Mexico, citizens and activists resorted to digital actions by tweeting comments on the Government’s lies, but also returned to the streets by doing marches, sit-ins, and even bike rides around the federal commission of electricity (CFE) and government buildings in about 12 cities which “brought back much-needed energy to Mexico’s movement.”Ale Galvez Fridays For Future Mexico
“In Bangladesh, we arranged strikes with 40 local groups and some single strikers. In every strike, there were from 30-70 participants of all ages.”Farazana Faruk Fridays For Future Bangladesh
Every country adapted their strikes to the #NoMoreEmptyPromises campaign according to the particular empty promises they fought against and their national context.
“In Zambia, the climate activists’ strike ‘focused on the ZINDC document, whose empty promise by the Zambian government is to reduce carbon emissions by 25% by 2030.”Chile from Fridays For Future Zambia
Following up from the campaign actions, a second strike theme was born: #CleanUpStandardCharteredBank and #RaiseYourStandards. With this, protesters struck against Standard Chartered Banks across the globe and demanded them to stop investing in fossil fuel industries, stop lying about their real impact on climate change, stop using greenwashing techniques, stop stealing the lands of people, and stop being a climate killer. Approximately 10 countries held strikes against Standard Chartered Bank either outside of SCB offices or in public places. Some of the countries that joined the strike include the Philippines, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Zambia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Italy, and more.
In Bangladesh, strikers requested to go inside the Standard Chartered Bank offices in hope of delivering an open letter, but unfortunately, they were not allowed to go in. They kept the protest outside and customers supported them. “For us, it was a success because as customers reached out to us – they started to learn and know how their trusted bank is killing their future.”Farzana Faruk from Fridays For Future Bangladesh.
However, unfortunately, strikes in many places were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In some countries, strikes had to be limited to small gatherings or zoom calls.
“The number of activists was fewer in Germany due to covid-19, but they let their artistic sides spark and they painted images on the streets instead of having physical strikes including huge amounts of people.”Leonie Bremer Fridays For Future Germany
Strikers managed to organize their local groups and their friends to digital strike and do actions over zoom calls.
So despite complications, the power of the people and their desire to change our world is greater than any other force. We will not be fooled by meaningless lies. Words can’t save the planet, we need action! For now, we must keep making an impact on the world and prepare for our next global strike. Because united, we have the opportunity to make a difference!
‘We know climate change is human-made and only humans can end it”Chile from Fridays For Future Zambia