Portuguese students from all over the country will miss school this friday to fight for climate.
It was a “week or less” the time that the Portuguese group of young people took since the moment they first come up with the idea till they announced at 4 of february the climate strike 15 march. Insered in the international movement “SchoolStrike4Climate” e “FridaysForFuture” the strike is planned to happen in more than 20 cities, like Lisbon, Oporto and Coimbra. Everything started with Matilde Alvim, a student from Palmela high school, and the responsible from the youth climate strike in Lisbon. Matilde heard of Greta´s Thunberg work and inspired by her, like millions of young people around the world, decide to bring the strike to Portugal.
Matilde started speaking with her friends about her ambition and one of them was Bárbara Pereira, student in Colégio Internato dos Carvalhos. “I think we can do this, I think it´s essential we take action”, tells Bárbara, recording the moment when Matilde first contacted her about the issue.
Rita Vasconcelos, a law student in Coimbra, tells that when she entered the coordination of the Portuguese youth strike there were “something like 19 people”, but since that the as grown, “it´s decentralized” and it works though “networking”, using everything to spread the word from emails, posters, social media to telling friends and colleagues.
The students’ can´t predict the number of people that will leave home to join them 15th of March in Portugal, but they assure no failure will make them stop fighting for their planet.
Even though they have been facing some difficulties, they say for every negative comment of people devaluing their cause, they receive five positive and supportive.
Rita Vasconcelos says that “we have a very age political class worldwide, the young scientists and students are used to hear since ever that their actions harms the planet and will have a rebound effect. There is a lack of renovation”, in other hand Bárbara says that even between the young’s the ecological “conscious is still very superficial. We recycle and think everything is okay, no one tells us anything, that´s also why we do school awareness lectures.”
Supported by their parents, colleagues and some teachers, the students admit that they try to live in the most sustainable way but feel confined: “While having a 100% sustainable lifestyle means so many choices, we can´t demand that to others. For example, one of our demands it´s the public transports, we can´t demand people to use them when the transports net doesn´t satisfy all their needs:”