Students are mobilising all over the world on Friday to protest government inaction against climate change under the motto of "Fridays for Future", as led by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg.
The students are striking because they believe governments must be urged to take the right course of action to minimise the impact of climate change. According to students, they had had enough of watching as solutions and facts are published, yet policy remained to be implemented.
Some believe the climate goals set for 2050 are insufficient, calling on governments to enact changes now.
The worldwide protests are led by 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg, who was also named the country's woman of the year for International Women's Day. Norwegian MPs have also suggested should be considered for a Nobel prize. The young activist began protesting in front of the parliament in Stockholm in August 2018, sitting in front of the parliament for weeks. Her protest then transformed into a regular Friday strike in September. Other climate activists followed Thunberg's lead and the movement grew to #FridaysForFuture through the spread of social media. Students connected over WhatsApp, Instagram, and other platforms to inspire each other to protest.
On Friday 15 March, 850 protests are planned in forty different countries. In Germany alone, there will be protests in 120 cities. As for the Grand Duchy, the number of students expected to join in the protest stands at 10,000.
Luxembourg students mobilised via the platform "Youth for Climate". The movement is also globally supported by all the party youth wings, with the exception of ADRenalin (the ADR's youth wing) and the young Communists.
However, students have expressed a feeling of abandonment in terms of security, as revealed on RTL's "Kloertext" on Wednesday evening. When asked how all the students will travel to the Glacis car park, the response is that they will use public transport or walk.
The students queried claimed it was irresponsible for the Ministry of Education to approve students striking on the Glacis whilst leaving them to organise their own transport.
Upon inquiry, the police spokesperson confirmed to RTL that there will be a police presence, as is the norm for all protests. The police also confirmed that they had contacted the organisers of the strike to discuss practical matters.
Before the protest begins at midday, the surrounding roads will be secured or closed to traffic.
The march which will begin heading towards Place Guillaume II at 12.30pm will be escorted by police patrols. The roads used for the march, notably Avenue Porte Neuve and Grand Rue, will be closed to traffic. The police confirmed that motorists should expect traffic issues and should ideally avoid the area entirely.
Bus and train lines to be reinforced
Following the criticism aired on "Kloertext", RTL contacted the Ministry of Mobility and Public Works to ask about public transport. The ministry confirmed that both train and bus lines will be reinforced on Friday morning, with double the usual amount of buses running, in order to provide students with transport to the protest. Transport capacities will especially be reinforced in areas with secondary schools. Students can leave school at 10am on Friday in order to meet at the Glacis car park in Limpertsberg.
The specific details concerning the increased transport is still being finalised, but will be communicated later on Thursday.
Luxembourg City's municipal authorities release information
- The march's route was laid out by the protest's organisers, the police, and the capital's traffic service. The march will begin at the Glacis and end at Place Guillaume II. In order to allow the protesters to assemble, motorists will not be allowed to park on the Glacis.
- Participants will have to respect the Highway Code and the police's instructions throughout the march.
- Patrick Goldschmidt, Luxembourg City councillor for the environment, will be present at the start and end points of the march.