The UK Student Climate Network draws a lot of inspiration from the ideas and campaigning of Swedish 16 year old climate activist Greta Thunberg. The movement she founded, Fridays for Future, refers to how she strikes every Friday to protest the lack of effective climate legislation on a governmental level. Thanks to Greta, students throughout Europe now regularly strike on Fridays.

Below is a step by step guide on how you can join #FridaysforFuture

Step 1

Learn about Greta and #FridaysforFuture. Young Swedish Climate Activist Greta Thunberg has brought global media attention to the practice of school striking for the climate since she started in August. Her ideas and speeches have taken place at high profile events across the world and have inspired many to join her by striking from school on Fridays.

Greta’s speech at the UN Climate Conference in Katowice

Greta’s Ted Talk

Step 2

Get permission. You’ll need permission from your parents to miss school which is usually only done in situations of illness. Absence can also be granted in ‘exceptional circumstances’. You can, however, legally strike with permission for absence from your school.

You stand the best chance of success with a clear understanding of your personal motivations to strike, consent from your school, and permission from a parent / guardian. Learn more about the legality of striking here and resources to help you talk to your school here. We’ve also drafted some letters parents can send to your school to help you get their permission.

Step 3

Take action. In order to make an meaningful impact with your strike, there are many things you can do. These could include striking for part of the (or for a full) day outside your school, or protesting in areas such as town centres or outside local government buildings. Alternatively, you could spend the day getting involved with local events hosted by partner groups. When striking, we would suggest…

Bringing a few friends; you’ll have more of an impact together, have much more fun together, and create a good support system, as regular strikes can sometimes be stressful.

Talking to people about what you’re doing; if you’re in a public place, try taking a sign so people notice your strike, and talk to them about what you’re doing. This is a great way to raise public awareness, and even prompt people to take action themselves.

Getting in touch with local press; they are likely to be very interested with what you’re doing, and could be a great way to raise awareness of the climate crisis in your local area. For help with how to interact with press, contact us.