Bangkok students led by an 11-year-old, among others, went on strike on Friday and abandoned their classrooms to join the global “Fridays for Future” movement calling for action on climate change and environmental protection.
As documented on the Twitter account “greenpeaceth”, the students rallied outside the Public Service Centre at Government House with a petition for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Many carried signs with messages in English reading “Youth4Climate”, “School Strike”, “There is no Planet B”, “The oceans are rising and so are we” and “I do not want to clean up after my parents”.
The 11-year-old, identified only as Lily, read aloud an open letter asking the government to take immediate action on air pollution, single-use plastics, climate change and deforestation.
“Our Earth cannot wait and we cannot do it by ourselves and we need the government to help us now,” she said. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to help the Earth, but with the help of the government, it will be faster and more powerful.”
Schoolchildren, parents and other supporters were expected to hold similar demonstrations in 100 countries on Friday.
The movement was inspired by 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg, who spent all of last August protesting over climate change outside the Swedish parliament, and then when her school semester began, continued her protests on Fridays.
Thunberg was invited to address the UN Climate Conference in December and has been nominated by three Norwegian lawmakers for the Nobel Peace Prize.