From one to millions: Greta Thunberg's climate strike made waves in Dublin city centre today
It all started with "FridaysForFuture."
The grassroots movement that saw hundreds, then thousands, then hundreds of thousands of students from all around the world skip school in protest of climate change.
The original student climate change demonstrations started in 2015 to mark the first day of the UN's Paris climate change conference.
Students from 100 or so countries around the world took to the street to protest for cleaner energy, for climate refugees, and against the continued use of fossil fuels.
Four years later and the movement has grown exponentially, amassed crowds from over 2,000 cities, and made striking for change the norm.
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) September 20, 2019
FridaysForFuture have since become EveryDaysForFuture thanks to Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist who popularised the term last year when she went on strike outside the Swedish parliament bearing a sign reading: "School strike for the climate."
This year alone there have been three major school strikes for climate awareness. Today, there was another one - and it may just have been the biggest yet.
Today, thousands of students in Ireland took the streets in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and Galway to protest the government's lack of movement on the worldwide issue.
Similar protests and walkouts had also been organised in 50 other towns and cities across the country, with many schools and universities (not including Dublin's Blackrock College) encouraging their students to skip class and strike for change.
The Dublin demonstration kicked off at noon today and by half 12 the thousands of primary school students, teenagers, and adults supporting them were making their way towards Leinster House, armed with clever signs and voices loud enough to shout over the busy city centre traffic.
"There's no planet B," boast the banners. They depict cartoon planet Earths on fire, sea levels rising, and the very real warning that we've been far too inactive for far too long.
There's something cruel and oddly uplifting about seeing children in school tracksuits, those who couldn't possibly be older than seven or eight, chanting about rising sea levels and global warming.
When we were that age, we were singing songs about kissing boys in yards. Now they're singing songs about saving the planet.
They shouldn't have to do it. But they do, and they are.
A considerable turnout had been expected for today's strike. A considerably higher number of people actually showed up.
— Her.ie (@Herdotie) September 20, 2019
A few months back, Ireland became one of the first countries in the world to declare a climate emergency.
Along with the UK, our government decided to officially recognise that the world is in trouble, and that we now must take real and necessary steps to ensure that the next generation actually have a world left worth living in.
But simply admitting that something is wrong is not enough - especially not when the UN has given us just 12 years to limit a climate change catastrophe.
Today's strike wasn't the first time Irish students took to the streets in protest of our lack of action around the ever-present climate issue - and it certainly won't be the last either.
It's just like the signs say: "Sea levels are rising - and so are we."