Cessnock students to take part in global climate strike on September 20

TIME FOR ACTION: Vivienne Kelleher, Janet Murray, Louise Ihlein, Kaitlyn Williams, Elizabeth Hinton and Nikki Sutton support the climate strike.
TIME FOR ACTION: Vivienne Kelleher, Janet Murray, Louise Ihlein, Kaitlyn Williams, Elizabeth Hinton and Nikki Sutton support the climate strike.

More than 90 towns and cities across Australia, including Cessnock, will take part in the School Strike 4 Climate this Friday.

More than 3500 events are being planned across the world for the global strike, which is being held in the lead-up to the United Nations Climate Action Summit the following week.

The Cessnock event will be held at Turner Park, and while it's a student-led protest, anyone who is concerned about climate change is welcome to attend.

The students are demanding no new coal, oil and gas projects (including the Adani mine) in Australia; 100 percent renewable energy generation and exports by 2030, and that that the government funds a just transition and job creation for fossil-fuel industry workers and communities.

Cessnock High School student Vivienne Kelleher, 16, helped to lead climate protests in Cessnock prior to the state election in March and before the federal election in May.

While she will have exams this Friday, she is encouraging anyone in the community who wants to see the government take action on climate change to take part.

Vivienne said it's important for young people to get involved because they will be the ones affected by climate change in the future.

"It's our generation who will see unbearable temperatures, worsening droughts, food and water shortages," she said.

"We are not going to stand by and let other people do the heavy lifting - we ultimately will be the ones affected by it (climate change).

"It affects every school and every town, and it's time for the government to take action."

Cessnock-Kurri Greens branch member and 2019 election candidate Janet Murray is supporting the strike.

She said people employed in the coal mining industry are entitled to feel concerned too, because the government has no plans to transition out of the industry.

"If they can't see anything to replace coal, they will be fearful," she said.

"The bottom line is, we want people who are concerned to turn out and let their politician know they want some support."

A planning meeting will be held at Cessnock Library on Wednesday at 4.30pm; and the strike itself will take place at Turner Park, Aberdare at 11.30am Friday.

The protest will march from Turner Park along Aberdare Road and Cumberland Street to Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon's office on Edward Street.

People who are unable to walk from Turner Park to Joel Fitzgibbon's office can meet the protest at Sternbeck Park (corner of Edward and Vincent Street) at 12pm.

Participants are encouraged to bring signs and a photo that shows why they are concerned about climate change.

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