This Youth Day
the
#YouthDemandClimateJustice

On the 16th of June, South Africa will be celebrating Youth Day.

Recognising that the climate crisis is one of the gravest threats to the future of today’s youth, 350 Africa is calling on South Africans to rise up for climate justice this Youth Day. It’s time to stand together and call on our government and leaders to take ambitious and rapid action on a transformative climate justice agenda to tackle not only the climate crisis but the interlinked crises of unemployment, inequality and poverty facing South Africa’s youth.

We are calling on people, young and old, take part in actions, rallies, events, art installations, and teach-ins at schools, workplaces, provincial legislatures, city halls, and other public spaces across the country. We plan to start on Friday the 14th of June (in honour of and partnership with the youth-led Fridays for Future Movement, which has been leading school strikes across the world) and have events until Youth Day is observed on the 17th of June. Although June is Youth Month too so actions can take place throughout the month too, and not only in South Africa but across the continent.

We at 350 Africa are already working with partners to hold rallies and creative actions across South Africa. We are planning rallies actions at places like Calata House in King Williams Town, Parliament in Cape Town, and the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where we will be calling on lawmakers and leaders to take rapid and ambitious action on climate justice. We are also working with youth, community and school groups across the country who will be holding community discussions, events, and rallies on climate justice.

Eastern Cape:

Thursday 13th June from 11h00 - 13h00

People from across the Eastern Cape will hold a climate justice march from Bisho stadium to the office of the Premier Honorable Oscar Mabuyani where they will deliver a climate justice memorandum. With 350 Africa’s support, the action is being organised by an exciting alliance of 7 organisations and community groups representing youth, farmers, rural communities, unemployed peoples, and environmental justice.

On the 17th of June from 10:30-13:00 in Makhanda, students at the University known as Rhodes and community members will be organising a climate justice protest outside of the Makhanda High Court. Link to Facebook Event Page..

Free State:

Monday 17th June

In the Manguang Metro in the Free State, there will be a day-long workshop aimed at educating and mobilizing around climate justice. It will be held by the Botshabelo Unemployed Movement, Botshabelo Food Producers Forum, Ramolutsi Crisis Committee, Bokamoso Anti-bullying Youth Support, the Home-Based Care Organization, and Small Scale Farmers.

Gauteng:

Friday 14th June at 11h00 AM

People young and old will be rallying at the Union Buildings in Tshwane demanding climate justice. There will be a range of powerful speakers and opportunities to discuss how we can work together for climate justice. We will be delivering a petition to the office of the president demanding climate justice. There will also be a climate justice theatre performance by the Well Worn Theatre Company who will be performing their play Burning Rebellion. Link to Facebook Event Page..

KwaZulu Natal:

Sunday 16th June at 10h00 AM

1) The South African Youth Climate Change Coalition will mobilize KZN youth to stand together and make their voices heard by rallying outside the Kwazulu Natal Legislature and delivering a climate justice memorandum to the Speaker of the Legislature demanding ambitious and rapid action on climate justice. Link to Facebook Event Page..

2) Newcastle Environmental Justice Alliance 16 June 2019 Durnacol, Kwazulu Natal Climate Change workshop for the youth.

3) In Durban, the Mayini Azanian Movement and Oceans Not Oil will organize a climate justice rally and workshop on June 16th.

Western Cape:

Friday 14th June from 12h00 PM - 15h00

The African Climate Alliance Youth of South Africa will be striking from school to tell our politicians to take our collective future seriously and treat climate change for what it is, a crisis. They’re calling on people young and old to join them.

Meeting Location: Louis Botha Statue @ Cape Town Parliament and then a march to City Hall where speeches and performances will take place. Link to Facebook Event Page..

Limpopo:

1) Date: 14th June. In Burgersfort, Limpopo, Sekhukhune Environmental Justice Network will arrange a meeting at Ditwebeleng village bringing together livestock farmers and youth. This event will host a climate change workshop focused on the severity of climate impacts and a film screening as part of the main activities. Workshop participants will also be called to push solutions in their community to manage local climate impacts.

2) Date: 26th June. In Polokwane, the Bhatabile Foundation will be working to bring people together from across the province to hold a workshop on climate justice, followed by a rally and a march which, will concluded in delivering a climate justice memorandum to the Premier of Limpopo province.

Mpumalanga:

1) The Ekhulundeni Youth Forum 13th June, 10am Ekulundeni Community Hall. A community indaba on Youth, with a focus on climate justice and the environment 2) Mpumalanga Youth Against Climate Change 15 June 2019. Middelburg Climate Change workshop using art to teach the youth.

3) Khuthala environmental care group 16 June 2019 Wesselton Climate Change Dialogue with the Wesselton community and stakeholders.

During Youth Day, and throughout Youth Month we would also like to use the hashtag #YouthDemandClimateJustice

To elevate the Youth’s demands for climate justice, and as a way to raise the issue on social media, and provide space to reflect on the climate crisis, why people care, what sort of vision of the future they want, and how we can work together to build it. We welcome not only use of the hashtag on social media, but in opinion pieces, radio discussions, and community forums.

It is long past time we launched a massive nationwide mobilisation to equitably transform South Africa to a renewable energy-powered, socially and ecologically just future. As part of that vision, we need major green jobs, training, upskilling and reskilling programs so young South Africans can make a living playing an active part in creating a better future for all.


If you are interested in joining, being part of the action, helping organise an event of your own, or have any feedback, comments or concerns, please contact Alex Lenferna (alex.lenferna@350.org) and/or Ahmed Mokgopo (ahmed@350.org). Please feel free to spread the word too, as we’d like as many people as possible involved, taking action, and building the political will for climate justice.