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The Signs of Our Time: A Photo-essay on Prague students’ Strike for Climate Change

by Htun Lynn Zaw, on Mar 18, 2019 12:08:07 PM

March 15, 2019

It was particularly a crisp, yet warmer Friday morning with a well enough chance of gooey rain and light breezes. Young students of Prague started to fill up Malostranské náměstí with cardboard signs in their hands and eagerness in their heart, the kind that comes with a strong conviction to let the world hear their voices. It was Prague students’ very own march for the “Friday for Future” movement, which was inspired by a young Swedish environmental activist, Greta Thunberg.

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The widespread use of coal mining and the usage of coal power plants has the Czech Republic ranked as the fifth biggest polluter in Europe and 20th biggest polluter in the world in terms of CO2 emission. Though the country pledged to reduce the emission to 40% by 2030 during the Paris agreement of 2015, constructive moves of government on public policies that restrict the emission are still required.

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This is where the Prague students’ Friday for Future march threw jabs with signs and chants that are not only straightforward and commanding, but also infused with snarky rhetorics. Even adult passersby could not help but smile and marvel at their passion as the younger generation was calling for action and taking in charge of what they dream of their own future. I even got to witness an elderly gentleman giving his heartfelt thank you to the students.

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The march lasted approximately 2 hours and peacefully ended, yet the amount of power and command emitted from the strike could echo to the tip of Petřín Hill. To me, the event precisely resonated with Greta Thunberg’s proposition, “instead of hope, [we should] look for action; then and only then hope will come.” To quote one of the participants’ sign, “Like the oceans, we rise.”

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Written and shot by: Htun Lynn Zaw

Full album here

 

Topics:Living FuturesGlobal EngagementStudent Life

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