The first uni climate strike was incredible - what’s next?

Christie van Tinteren

Editors: Lisa Pentaleri and Oliver Wheeler

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Protesting at the LSE is now famously difficult. Despite the University’s radical past, more recent campaigns – such as Justice for Cleaners, the Free University of London, and LSE Consent Now – were (and are) consistently confronted by management. Their success is only testament to the perseverance and brilliance of those students and staff involved.

Today’s action, the Climate Strike, met none of those institutional obstructions. There was no concerted effort from the university to scare those involved. As such, the LSESU-supported action, organised by a coalition of nearly 30 SU societies, united the student community in a way we haven’t seen since 2010.

Whereas the most social space on campus is usually the orderly Hare Krishna queue, we saw something completely different today. A thousand or so students outside the SU. Dancing, placard-making, drumming, and chanting. The streets of the LSE echoed with something other than the roar of pneumatic drills and cranes for once. The project of unrelenting expansion in pursuit of profit paused as we blocked streets with our numbers.

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Joined by UCL, SOAS, Imperial, King’s, and the Conservatoires, we proved the potential of our universities – especially when united. Organisers at all of these universities have been great.

We marched from LSE to Parliament, joined by thousands of school children along the way and then led by them for the rest of the day. If they are the future of our universities, things are looking pretty good.

Obviously, this movement won’t stop here. Strikes have already been called for the 15th of April. While university students are likely to be pretty absent from next month’s action (holidays and exams) and actions over the summer, there is an appetite for action. Next year, as a united network of universities, let’s go even bigger. Until then, we (the coalition) have some plans in the works. Stay up to date, there’s plenty more to come.