Greta Thunberg: the Swedish girl behind the global school strike

August 20th, 2018, Stockholm, Sweden. This is how it all started for little Greta. After a record hot summer with devastating wildfires across Sweden, she decided to protest against climate change. Her idea was to strike. Just like workers have the right to strike in order to defend their rights, she felt like striking in order to raise awareness about and trigger action with climate change.

So, she went on a school strike -abstaining from school- and protested right outside the Swedish parliament from August 20th to the day of the Swedish elections, on September 9th. Her demand was that Sweden speeded the efforts to reach the Paris Climate Agreement.

After the elections, she kept on going on school strike every Friday. Greta’s efforts went viral, not only in Sweden but also around the world. But how did she do it? Does it have something to do with the Nordic culture of equality and freedom?

Children? What children?

In the Nordics, children are not considered clueless or incapable of responsibility and action. On the contrary, children -although loved and being taken good care of- are regarded almost as equal as adults. They need to help their parents and the family with household chores.

They need to be independent and be able to commute by themselves in public transport (it is common to see 8 or 9-year-olds alone in the metro or buses in Denmark).

Also, their views and ideas are taken very seriously by adults and are not deemed as “too young and inexperienced”.  Maybe, this is one of the reasons that Greta emerged as a world political and environmental activist, from Sweden.

Brought up in this culture, she did not feel too young or just a girl, to start a fight against climate change. The equality concept of Sweden fostered her dreams and agonies.

It’s all written down!

It’s not only equality among society that gives birth too brave men and women. It is also freedom. Wait! Most of the countries are free societies. Yes and no! Most countries grant their citizens the freedom to live their life as they wish. Few countries though really strive towards actively helping their citizens realise their dreams.

In Sweden, freedom of expression is written in the constitution (well, the four fundamental laws they call the constitution). This gives people the right to have an opinion on anything and publicly say almost anything. People also have the right to take part in demonstrations to fight for their rights or protest against any unfairness towards them.

No wonder why Greta Thunberg comes from Sweden but fights for the world.  She is the heart and soul of the global school strike that is taking place today, March 15th, all around the globe. Pupils and students from schools in more than 100 countries are expected to raise their voice against climate change!

Follow her hashtags #climatestrike #fridaysforfuture #schoolstrike4climate and fight along for our planet!