CLIMATE STRIKE: Activists take to the streets
HUNDREDS of thousands of people have congregated in streets and parks across Australia today campaigning for 'climate justice'.
Students, parents and workers joined together to take part in the latest mass climate strike to demand urgent action on global warming.
In Stanthorpe, more than two dozen, with placards in hand, marched up the main street.
The group started outside Member for Southern Downs James Listers' office, before migrating to the piazza.
Leading the way was Sally Gebbett. The passionate activist urged change, concerned about the future for generations to come.
"We're joining in the global strike for climate action that Greta Thunberg started and we thought we'd do it in Stanthorpe,” Ms Gebbett said.
"They weren't organising it in any of the schools so we just wanted to support the kids.
"We're just peacefully protesting. We're not going to glue ourselves to anything.”
The global day of action, led by Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, was essentially a call to arms for the youth to take a stand.
"As Greta said, 'you can't solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis',” Ms Gebbett said.
"This is another thing being said by the kids... 'we're children and you don't listen to us anyway. We don't vote. But we're going to vote'.”
Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack was quick to dismiss the demonstrations.
"I think these sorts of rallies should be held on a weekend where it doesn't actually disrupt business, it doesn't disrupt schools, it doesn't disrupt universities.
"I think it is just a disruption,” Mr McCormack said.
It's that attitude that continues to spur Ms Gebbett into action.
"We hope people appreciate that the climate crisis is real and they have to change the way they do things.
"(The government) refuse to even acknowledge there's a climate emergency.
"All we keep hearing is 'we're praying for rain' and 'one day closer to rain'. I don't know what to say to that.
"Listen to the science. Very few government's are taking it seriously. Germany sort of is. A few people have declared a climate emergency.
"But CEO's, big companies, are starting to see their future requires for them to acknowledge it. But no government's I think really are.
"They are too wedded to lobby money which is big oil, big pharma, coal... keeping things as they are. They seem to be stymied.”
Ms Gebbett said the work needs to start from the ground up. She's been an activist for three decades and thinks this is as important a cause as any.
"I've been worrying about this for 30 years. I started out being a feminist, looking at patriarchy and how it didn't work.
"But its morphed into this because I think it's a feminist issue. We're all going to die. This is everyone's issue.
"We have to just start from the bottom. The whole paradigm, the hierarchy of the paradigm doesn't work anyway. Humanity just needs to rise up.
"We know the solutions. I don't think we need much more science quite frankly. We're expecting science to fix it but science actually won't,” she said.
Karen Johns walked hand in hand with Ms Gebbett. She's concerned all the protests have come too late.
"I've been a Greenie since I could walk,” Ms Johns said.
"When I moved here, I knew it was too late. You're not going to change peoples ideas.
"We need big business and politics working together. But I think it's too late.
"We're drowning trying to save ourselves.”