Northern Ireland: Amnesty urges 1,200 schools to let pupils strike for climate

Fridays for Future Student Demonstration © Greenpeace / Pak Chai Tse

Letter to school principals comes ahead of latest global climate strike on Friday 29 November

‘The strike falls close to the general election and we need to allow students to show their passion on this issue, as they don’t have a vote’ – Anna Kernahan, 17

‘The climate crisis is also a human rights crisis, for this and future generations– Patrick Corrigan

Amnesty International has written to 1,200 schools across Northern Ireland urging them to allow pupils to take part in the next global climate strikes planned for Friday 29 November.

In September, over seven million people around the world took part in global climate strike protests – the largest climate change demonstration ever held. Thousands of school children, alongside parents and teachers, participated across Northern Ireland.

Amnesty’s Northern Ireland programme director, Patrick Corrigan, has written to school principals asking them to support pupils taking part in the global day of action on the climate emergency.

Pupil-led demonstrations are due to be staged in the centre of Belfast, Derry/Londonderry, Omagh and Enniskillen, while other local protests are also expected.

Anna Kernahan, 17, of Fridays for Future and the Student Climate Network, organisers of the Belfast demonstration, said:

“It is crucial that as many people as possible strike on November 29th as we are at a tipping point in history. The strike falls close to the general election and we need to allow students to show their passion on this issue, as they don’t have a vote.” 

In the letter to schools, Patrick Corrigan says:

“On Friday 29 November, there will be another major international day of action, again led by pupils, but supported by many adults and organisations like ours, which have been asked to help. We are doing so because we recognise that the climate crisis is also a human rights crisis, for this and future generations.

“We would ask that you support pupils’ participation in the day of action on the climate emergency. Perhaps this can be done via authorised absence or you may wish to organise teachers or parents to accompany pupils as they demonstrate.

“This is an opportunity for pupils to engage in learning for life - to develop as individuals and members of society; develop the skills and capabilities needed for adult life; cope with the changing world; and learn how to make informed choices.”

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