IN THEIR WORDS: 10 Hong Kong Student Climate Strikers Tell Us Why They Are Marching For The Planet

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Today, on November 29th, students around Hong Kong gathered together for a school climate strike as a part of the global #FridaysForFuture movement inspired by renowned student striker Greta Thunberg. The event, which is organised by student-led Climate Action Hong Kong, together with Extinction Rebellion HK (XRHK), Waste Free and HK360, saw around a 100 students gather at Chater Garden at 11.00am and march towards the Central Government Offices. We had the opportunity to speak to some of the inspiring students and other supporters that took part, and here is what they had to say. 

Percy holds up a sign demanding the government to end climate denial (Source: Green Queen)

Percy Tse, 15, a student at a local school in Kowloon

“I’m out here today because we have an internationally mobilised movement of student strikes. I wanted to join because there is an immediate urgency for climate action. I want to demand action from governments and businesses all around the world. None of my friends at school have come out to strike with me today, as awareness about climate change in local schools is much lower. I want to see more people joining us in and eventually I hope this can get the positive results, to see governments commit to climate action.” 

Sunniva (left) with fellow student striker Gaurika (Source: Green Queen)

Sunniva, 17, a student at a local secondary school 

“Not enough people in Hong Kong are looking at climate change problem seriously. For students to strike from school, to be woken up by climate change, it should send a message. I might not be able to do many things, but is what I can do, and it’s also in my capacity, so I’m out here today.”

Gaurika, 16, a student at Hong Kong International School

 “I feel like this is a problem not many people take seriously. It’s time for people to really think about the planet, and the march today is a great opportunity to raise awareness about something that is very close to my heart. I lead a sustainable life and live plastic free, and I want everyone to also join in.” 

Ewan Windebank, 17, organiser from Climate Action Hong Kong and student at Rosemary Hill Secondary School

“Hong Kong is lagging behind. This is a global movement and we believe that every city should be a part of it. Hong Kong might be small, but we should be doing more.”

Two students, both called Renee, striking together at Chater Garden (Source: Green Queen)

Renee, 16, a student at Marymount Secondary School

“We want to raise awareness about climate change. It’s so important and many people ignore it because people might believe they’ll die of old age, but the real truth is we will all suffer if we all continue to produce so much trash and burn fossil fuels.”

Renee, 16, a student at Victoria Shanghai Academy 

“I run a club at school and we raise awareness about climate change and plastic recycling. I think we really need to raise awareness. So many people in Hong Kong don’t care about it and they just enjoy living in an urban environment. But our planet is so important. At the same time, the teachers at my school have been so supportive and they have all encouraged me to be here today.”

Kamakshi (left) and Aya holding up their signs (Source: Green Queen)

Kamakshi Bhavnani, 14, a student at West Island School

“People tend to get scared of the climate crisis, because a lot of the time people think that it is too big a problem and it will be too difficult for an individual to make a difference. So I’m here to raise awareness about the fact that it can start small. Any little action is worth it. For example, if 7 billion people just said ‘it is just 1 straw’, then that is 7 billion straws in the landfill. The smallest little thing you can do does have an impact, and we should all do something.”

Aya Skye Walker, 15, a student at the YMCA

“We want to support this movement in HK and join the global movement inspired by Greta Thunberg. We want to hold world leaders accountable and make them actually listen to the solutions that people have come up with.”

Olivier represents XRHK with their upcycled flag made out of a broken tent (Source: Green Queen)

Olivier Delalande, a member of Extinction Rebellion Hong Kong 

“Due to the short notice [for the letter of no objection], it’s been a bit hard to communicate when our event would take place, and to organise everything. These young people are fighting for their future. It’s our duty to be with them and demand climate justice.”

Emily, 18, an organiser from Climate Action Hong Kong

We only have 1% renewable energy, which is really tiny. Hong Kongers in general we need to start consuming less beef, and we have good public transport but there are still so many cars on the road.”

Lance holding up his signs on rising sea levels and the need for climate action for our future (Source: Green Queen)

Lance Lau, 10, a student at Ying Wah Primary School

The youngest climate striker – Hong Kong’s very own Greta, Lance Lau, gave a powerful speech at the end of the march, when we reached the final destination in Tamar Park: “Do a lone strike of your own. Push change within your school or your estate. We have time. Have trust in yourself, have trust.”


All images courtesy of Green Queen.

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