Thousands of students took to the streets of Dublin on Friday as part of the Global Climate Strike. This larger strike saw millions of students protesting around major cities worldwide. The Dublin march saw primary, secondary and third level students protesting alongside one another, in the name of fighting climate change.
UCD students lead by members of UCDSU and representatives of student political societies took part in large numbers at the march. Beginning the protest in UCD with a large walkout from a number of UCD societies from the Freshers tent, the day began with speeches from UCDSU Campaigns & Engagement Officer Katie O’Dea and others. Amongst those speaking to the crowd were Lisa Frank Murnane (UCD Young Greens and UCDSU Environmental Campaigns Coordinator), Cormac Ò’Braonáin (UCD Labour) and Sadhbh Mac Lochlainn (UCD Socialist Worker Student Society). The crowd began with a practice of chants such as ‘No more coal, no more oil. Keep your carbon in your soil,’ and ‘System change. Not climate change.’
Speaking to the College Tribune, O’Dea said: ‘We are marching today because the Irish government and governments around the world have not acted appropriately to the climate crisis that we are facing. We’re calling on them to follow the demands of the school strikers and to implement the recommendations of the Citizens Assembly on climate change.’
UCD students were then bussed into town to rally with over 10,000 students outside Custom House Quay. The students chanted in their respective groups before marching towards Merrion square. The rare late September sunshine made for a rather apt day for a climate change march. The crowd protested throughout the streets for Dublin, holding up signs reading: ‘Time Is Running Out’ – ‘The Oceans Are Rising. So Are We’ – ‘The Climate Is Changing. Why Aren’t We?’
The march reached its finale with several impassioned speeches from student representatives of Fridays for Future Ireland and the Schools Climate Action Network. A minute’s silence was observed 11 minutes before 2pm, to signify the 11 years to save the climate. This silence was heard to the sound of thousands of mobile phone alarms set to go off at the same time. At the close of the event it was revealed that the electrics were powered via solar power.
Conor Capplis – Editor