School students and Stop Adani movement fired up to fight for climate justice after occupying Parliament House foyer for 2 hours

Following the occupation of the Parliament House foyer in Canberra today, 100 people, including school students who will continue to strike after the Summer holidays, have pledged to do whatever it takes to stop Adani’s coal mine and fight for climate justice and protect the places we love. They will continue to build the momentum on Saturday with the March for our Future bringing together thousands of citizens in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Gemma Borgo-Caratti, Director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition said: “Where there’s a political will, there’s a way - and we’re going to find that way to force our fence-sitting politicians who are complicit in destroying our climate to commit to stopping Adani’s dangerous, climate-wrecking coal mine.”

Australia is seeing the impacts of mining and burning fossil fuels right now. The day that Adani announced they were bankrolling their own mine, Queensland was literally on fire. This is not the future our generation wants to inherit” Tully Bowtell-Young, 14 year old from Townsville said.

Millie Telford, Director of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network said “Together we heard from those on the frontlines of climate change - First Nations people, school students, Pacific Islanders and more. We are all demanding leadership where our politicians are failing to protect our future.”

We demand:

  • Politicians commit to phasing out coal and gas exports, starting with stopping Adani’s coal mine
  • A rapid and fair transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030
  • Land rights strengthened including Free Prior and Informed Consent, so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people get the final say over what happens on their country

“With Adani securing finance and bullying their way into starting construction by Christmas - the urgency of political action to stop this mine is paramount. We are not going anywhere.

“It’s a sad day for democracy when school students get kicked out of Parliament and the Prime Minister won’t answer students’ calls to meet about the greatest threat to their generation: climate change. We are going to keep fighting to shake up our political system so that our politicians represent us rather than destructive coal companies like Adani,” Gemma Borgo-Caratti said.

“Young people are here fighting for their lives and our Prime Minister thinks that we’re not smart enough to understand political power. But this action, and the school strike showed we can make the whole nation listen if we want,” high school student Nosrat Fareha said today.

Those in the foyer today are just a small part of the nationwide movement who’s going to cause political pain to anyone who sits on the fence or actively supports Adani’s coal mine.

“Every event, every press conference, every ballot box - we’ll be there forcing you to explain why you think a few corporate dollars are worth more than our future. We will stop Adani’s coal mine and all new coal.” Gemma said

The group was joined in the foyer by senior leaders from environment NGOs (350.org, GetUp, Greenpeace and the Sunrise Project).

"GetUp members and volunteers across the country are determined to make climate change and stopping Adani’s mine the number one election issue until Labor gets off the fence and commits to stopping Adani. We’re in a climate emergency and we won’t stop until Labor acts like it,” GetUp! Environmental Justice Director Sam Regester said.

“Young people are left out of the decision making process when our future is on the line - it only makes sense for us to come to the halls of power and make our reasonable demands,” Gemma Borgo-Caratti concluded.

The peaceful protest occupied the foyer space for close to two hours, before participants were removed by police.

 

For media enquiries contact Alex Fuller on 0437 316 331 or alex.fuller@aycc.org.au