Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Strike for our future

Student activist Ummi Hoque from Walthamstow urges people to get involved in this month’s climate strike Time’s running out to save the planet [...]

Hero for Strike for our future
Ummi Hoque [second from left] with her friends on a climate march in London
By Waltham Forest Echo 15 September 2019

Student activist Ummi Hoque from Walthamstow urges people to get involved in this month’s climate strike

Time’s running out to save the planet – if we continue with the current rate of carbon emissions climate change will soon become irreversible.

We are facing extreme weather events across the world. Iceland recently marked its first loss of a glacier to climate change with a memorial plaque. People are dying and sea levels are rising. I’ve lived in the same house in Leyton for my whole 18 years of life and I have never experienced a 39C heatwave like we did this summer. We are in a climate crisis.

Whether you’ve been inspired by the activism of Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, the rise of Extinction Rebellion, the youth climate strikes, or you are simply a human being and care for our planet, please keep Friday 20th September free in your diary. This day marks the general strike for climate justice; old, young and everyone in-between will come together to demand those with power take urgent and radical measures to tackle this climate emergency.

The media has been perpetuating a mistaken belief that individual action alone can save us from the climate crisis. However, it is impossible to live 100% sustainably in our capitalist, consumer-driven society. This is why we need system change and we need it urgently.

I am a youth forum member for Our Bright Future, a partnership led by The Wildlife Trusts which brings together the youth and environmental sectors. I am also an alumni of My World My Home, an environmental leadership programme run by Friends of the Earth and the National Union of Students which plans and organises local community campaigns.

These incredible platforms have provided me with a foundation and purpose to formally begin my environmental activism, but most importantly to meet and connect with other like-minded people that want to protect our environment – our home.

I went to my first youth climate strike on 15th February 2019. I didn’t know what to expect and, quite frankly, I was worried not many young people would turn up. After all, we are continually ridiculed and stereotyped as a ‘lazy generation’ but I believe these youth-led strikes have eradicated this false perception. To witness and be part of not just a regional movement but a global one has restored faith for me, as well as millions of other young people.

Whether you’ve been protesting for climate justice for years or you’ve never been to a climate strike before, whether you’re an expert or you feel unfamiliar with climate change, we cannot deny we are in a climate emergency. So if able, join our global movement on 20th September and step up to the vital action needed to combat the climate crisis.

Join the global climate strike on Friday 20th September: Visit globalclimatestrike.net