King George Square in Brisbane’s CBD was overflowing with Queenslanders and visitors who had gathered in support of the 21 May School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C) protests.

The noise was loud as chants, speeches, helicopters, and news presenters attempted to capture the rush. People were united for a common purpose regardless of age, culture, colour or background.

Originally intended to draw the youth out of their classrooms to march against Federal Government decisions and responses to the use of fossil fuels, the rally drew grandparents, parents, unionists and students alike.

The theme this year, was for marchers to demand, no funding for gas and coal projects, and instead government investment in clean renewable energy, secure jobs, and First Nations solutions to protect Country.

Carol “Cece”, a member of the Grey Power Climate Protectors (GPCP) stood with other members in early anticipation.

“We will march with the children for the world they will inherit,” another member of GPCP commented.

Grey Power Climate Protectors – image by Neave Moore

Imogen and Ryan, employees at Mt Barney Lodge, travelled almost 100 kilometres to attend the rally in support of protecting their nature-rich place of employment near Logan River.

“[We are] here supporting our work and supporting our future,” Imogen said.

Imogen and Ryan from Mt Barney Lodge

Following the Welcome to Country, guest speakers raised the crowd through emotional, heartfelt speeches.

Mark Kabay-Saleh, spoke on behalf of the Torres Strait Islanders about the rising sea levels and loss of his homeland to rising sea levels.

“If the land becomes lost, so do we,” he said.

“There’s a difference between walking upon another land and your own. If [your] land becomes lost, the past becomes forgotten history, the present suffer from trauma of the loss of ancient connections, and the emerging struggle for discovering their identity.”

Guest speaker and Gomeroi Kooma woman from Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR), Ruby Warton, spoke about the defence of Aboriginal land from pollution and destruction through coal and gas mines.

“[The Pilliga Forest will be destroyed for the Narrabri Gas Project which will] have more than 850 wells on sacred Gomeroi land,” she announced.

“Gomeroi land is also under threat of coal mining. It Is also rich in cotton and wheat farming country. We are striking for climate to stand with sovereign land and water protectors, our allies, and for our future!”

Ruby Wharton addresses the crowd

Lisa Sipaia Baker, a pacific climate warrior marched for the climate in the name of invincibility.

“We stand for invincibility alongside our young ones with this demand, climate justice now and forever.”

Following these rousing speeches, the two student Masters of Ceremony led the march along Adelaide Street to the front steps of Parliament house.

The parade was led by First Nation members, students, unions holding banners and posters of all sizes, reading for example, “Don’t Burn Our Futures”; #StopAdani and “I Speak For The Trees”.

On the short walk to Parliament marchers chanted, “Always was always will be … Aboriginal Land!”, as local police closed streets and monitored traffic.

The SS4C is planning another march in October this year, with the final date to be announced.

Marchers at Parliament House – image by Neave Moore

More information

You can be find more on the Climate Strike at the SS4C Facebook and Instagram pages:

Facebook: (QLD initiative)


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