‘We are the generation that has to deal with this damage’ – 32,000 join Belgian school strike

These students may not be old enough to vote, but they already have their priorities straight.  

The weekly school strike for climate in Belgium has grown from 12,000 students last week to an estimated 32,000 this afternoon.

Young people have returned to Brussels for the third week in a row to demand action on climate change and environmental degradation. META spoke to some of them and asked why they joined the march. Here’s what they had to say.

Lazy millennials or the world’s last glimpse of hope? You decide.


Sarah Birabwa, 17 years old

Sarah Birabwa

We marched for our future. We stood together to let the government know that we care about decisions that affect our future.

We are the generation that has to deal with all this damage and that’s why we are screaming from the top of our lungs that we want change and that we want it now.

It’s our way of showing that we do care about climate change, which affects our environment, economy, health and politics.

Kobe Verdonck, 17 years old

We want to send a clear signal to the government that it’s time for change. It is not only our future at stake, but also that of our children and grandchildren. We have the right to a future where we can pursue our dreams and where we don’t have to constantly worry about climate change and the destruction of the planet.

Sebastien Geuten, 16 years old

Sebastien Geuten

We marched because there’s something wrong with the world.

Small actions are taking place everywhere, but we still need action from above. When those who govern the world don’t carry out those actions, we must raise our voice and say that we care about our world, our children, our grandchildren and our planet.

Britt Luyckx, 16 years old

We marched to show that we cannot leave the climate as it is today. If we wait until nothing more can be done about it, it will be too late. We want to show that there are many people who want change.

Noé Knuts, 16 years old

Our future is at stake and we don’t want to live in a polluted world when we grow up.

Anouck Wissels, 16 years old

Everyone pretends to care about the environment, but what’s happening to it is shocking.

You hear a lot of bad things about climate change in the news, but no one is doing anything about it.

Marching is our way to show that we care about our future and we support actions to protect the planet.