Prague/Brno, Sept 20 (CTK) – Some 2,000 secondary and university students as well as adults with children, according to CTK estimates, met on the Old Town Square in Prague centre to join the worldwide demonstration for a better climate protection and a reduction of emissions for the fifth time today.
The event was initiated by students from the Czech branch of the Fridays for Future environmental movement, inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist.
After speeches by students and their supporters, the young people marched from the Old Town Square through the city centre. Some protesters carried banners reading, for instance, “Let Us Change Politics, Not Climate.”
The march will be followed by the Festival for Future on Strelecky island, starting at 14:00.
At the same time, the student activists launched the Week for Climate protest event that will offer a series of educational and culture programmes and lectures. It will run through September 27.
A dozen of opponents to the climate strike, members and followers of the extra-parliamentary Free Citizens Party, came to the square to calmly protest against the students’ demands. They also carried banners reading “We Want Freedom Instead of Climate Socialism.” Some students started discussing the issues with them, but this incident did not disturb the demonstration for climate.
The first strike of students for climate took place in the Czech Republic in March, others followed in the spring.
Petr Doubravsky, the spokesman for the strike organisers, said these protests had pushed the debate on lowering greenhouse gas emissions in the Czech Republic into the right direction. He pointed out the formation of a coal commission to plan the reduction of coal mining and burning in the country.
“However, it is apparent that further pressure must be exerted on politicians, since when the coal commission was established, the government was and is taking steps against the climate protection,” Doubravsky told CTK, citing the emission limit relief for the Chvaletice coal-fired power plant, east Bohemia, as an example.
Some 300 people of all age groups met in a square in the centre of Brno, the second largest town in the country, to express disagreement with the politicians’ approach to climate change within the Joint Strike for the Future today.
Similar events were staged in other Czech towns as well as abroad.