School Strikes Are Not Politically Biased

14/03/2019

My Federal MP posted about the teacher that has lost work due to his comments relating to the school strikes. The teacher, who did relief work at a school, is also a Greens candidate, and it was at a forum in that role that he encouraged people to support and attend the strikes. He is now under investigation by the Education Department and has been notified he will not receive any shifts until it is done. This is, frankly, absurd.

I do not think the guy should lose work for this. Outside the school, as a candidate for the Greens, he should be able to do and say what he wishes. If he was at the school telling students to attend the strike then perhaps there would be a case against him, but it was in his own time in a different position. Of course, when I tried to explain this on my MPs’ post, I was immediately bombarded with cries of Marxism, insults like “delusional greenie”, denial of climate change, and claims that children are “too fragile” to involve themselves with such things. I don’t think a single one of those people understand the purpose of the strikes or the children who are attending them.

First of all, the strikes are not politically biased. If your beloved Liberal Party spins a false narrative that denies scientific fact, then that is their problem. Climate change is occurring no matter who you vote for, and therefore it is an issue that should be outside of political and ideological conversations. The Greens have backed the strikes and protests from the start, and even NSW Labor has endorsed them, but that really does not matter. The children are not going out there campaigning for a political party, they are out their fighting for their future. They want all politicians to hear their voices. Only some are listening, and the Coalition is instead attacking children – children that appear to have more sense than their coal-obsessed members and followers.

There is a bizarre irony in the fact that those who deny human activity has any impact on the climate are the ones telling children to shut up and learn ‘more important things’ at school. Some say that if the strikes took place over the weekend, so it didn’t affect schooling, that they would see them as more ‘credible’. I don’t think they understand exactly what a strike is supposed to do. A strike is an intentionally disruptive action to fight for some form of rights, whether it is workers’ striking for better conditions and pay, or in this case children striking to transition away from our outdated reliance on fossil fuels so they can actually live a full life.

The children are not dumb. While a minority might think it’s a cool day off from school, the majority do appear to be legitimately concerned. The school strikes in Australia, as well as Swedish student Greta Thunberg who kickstarted what has become a global movement of sorts, are not political statements. They are not ideologically driven, nor bound to any party. It is a plea from the younger generations to change our ways before it is too late, from when the first discoveries of mankind affecting the climate were covered up in the 1950’s to now, where we are still fighting coal, gas, and oil extraction to save our environment.

There won’t be any schools for children to attend if our planet is inhabitable. Will end this piece with the chorus from the song Idiocracy by Sin Shake Sin:

I refuse to be a part of your idiocracy

They’ll find our city’s ashes beneath the rising sea

And one day they’ll look back and wonder how it came to be

‘Cause we replaced reality with idiocracy

 

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