Interview with #climate striker: Charlotte Lastoweckyi of #Manchester

strike-logo-EN-colorThis Friday, 20th September, there’s a (global) climate strike.  Last week saw an interview with Emma Greenwood. Now, Charlotte Lastoweckyi answers the same questions…
So, what has been going on over the summer with the school strikes – what sorts of activities have been undertaken, what sorts of groups have been offering what kind of support?
Over the summer we had been discussing plans and trying to come up with some ideas to make this strike one that can accommodate everybody whether they be a little kid or an elderly person. We also didn’t want to go a head with plans without coordinating with the trade unions as of course they’re also striking with us. So i attended meetings and gave talks about what it means to strike. We also decided to hold an emergency strike on the 26th July to highlight the irregularity of the heatwave that summer.
The next big thing is the September 20th strike. What is planned for Manchester? How can people get involved in planning, or supporting the folks who are planning it?
We hope that this next strike will be very impactful, as it will show a united front between young people and adults, i believe that it will definitely highlight what extreme measures people are taking to actually be heard by people in power. The support from everyone has been incredible, people coming up to us and messaging us, saying that they support us and that they’re going to come out in their lunch is very empowering. We’re planning speeches, singing, arts and crafts and of course a march!! We have just figured out the route and we’re very happy about it.  People just talking about the youth strike and sharing our message helps us so much and we are deeply grateful for those people who do.
Here’s the tricky one (as per earlier conversation) – how is the ‘movement’ stronger on September 21st than it was on September 19th because of the strike? What new relationships have been created, what existing ones strengthened? How are the skills, knowledge and passions of ‘new’ people harnessed?
I think that the sense of community and the relationships have grown from strike to strike, we hope that this continues with the next one coming up. If you look back in history there isn’t a time where one generation and another explicitly come together for a common cause on a scale this big. As we’ve been working so closely with some incredible people with the same motivations, those bonds won’t go away so easily and will continue to flourish the more we work together. I think that young people like me have breathed new life into this movement and have become a catalyst which has motivated people to come together and fight even harder.  The network that we have created is forever growing and changing for the better.
Are the monthly school strikes going to continue to happen? If so, same format, or new format(s)?
Definitely, we haven’t achieve everything we have set out to do! We are only human, we adapt and change to our situations, we make mistakes. Every strike we get feedback about what went well, what didn’t work as good, this definitely helps us massively as we try and make the strikes the best that we can be. The place is always consistent as it is so symbolic our striking past but the times and the schedule of things does change as we’ve found that new things sometimes work however sometimes they don’t and we take that into account when organising the strikes. We’ll never stop coming together and demanding change!
Anything else you’d like to say/suggest/ask back.
What do you want to say to the next generation? Do you want to say that you stood by the sidelines or that you were on the front-lines for change? As a person of only 17 i want to tell my kids and grandkids that i was on the right side of history and stood up for what i know was right.

About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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