Manifesto for a climate revolution

If the youth has one unconditional and unquestionable right, it is the right to have a future. Those who are supposed to safeguard this right, however, proved untrustworthy with this responsibility. A coalition of politicians and businesses, driven by a system based on profit, have pushed us to the cliffs of a climate catastrophe. Facing this betrayal, we, students, are forced to revolt.

For too long we have been misled. Politicians and businesses made us believe that they were leading us in a sustainable direction. Pretending to act, however, is worse than not acting at all: at least then we would not have been incapacitated by their deception. There is no doubt that we only have a future when the people and the environment are prioritised over profits. What politicians and businesses propose instead is a pathetic persiflage of that future. Their unwillingness to make a real change is evident: once ‘going green’ starts hurting the pockets of their millionaire and billionaire friends, their profits triumph over our future.

For too long we have been neglected. Politicians placed the business climate before the actual climate. But we are not stuck in the past. We, students, are dedicated to rise up for tomorrow, against the destructive current order. Capitalism has made the senseless extraction of fossil fuels and the pollution of our ecosystem one of the most profitable businesses on our planet. The inherent addiction of our economic order to further exploit the earth proves an unsustainable strain on our planet.

On the path of destruction, the most extreme option is to do nothing. The most sensible option is to pull the emergency brake and change tracks. Since exploitation and greed have destroyed, and continue to destroy our planet, we demand a rupture from our existing order. A future liberated from destructive and infinite economic growth will open the road towards an infinitely more humane society. We can free ourselves from the old values of exploitation and greed, the two values which have brought us into this mess. We will fight for a safer future for all, towards a world build on solidarity, compassion, and justice.

No-one is coming to save us. Not some benevolent billionaire, neither the mystifying law of the market, nor the clever schemes of our politicians. Saving us is up to ourselves. Only when the people return to the streets and demand a direct say over the common goods, will we be able to restore our relationship with the environment, create a kinder and more hospitable world, and break with the old systems that enforce global inequality.

Students from all over the world, from Kenya to Indonesia, and from Argentina to The Netherlands, realise we are in this together. Nationalist politicians dream of abandoning those outside of their borders. They want everybody to fend for themselves. We as students find this unacceptable, since they demand of us to betray our comrades in struggle. The global environmental crisis demands a global response, meaning that we will have to act together.

Studying without having a future is no more than a cruel joke, so we refuse to continue our studies as normal. We will put away our laptops, lay down our books and get out of the library to take over the streets. We stand up together and strike together. Through our actions we will bring this destructive system to a halt. We, students, have the power to transform the global gas suckling addiction and quit our dependency on sketchy geopolitical oil barons. We want a future where the caring bond with our world is restored and we can return to being students.

We no longer have trust in politicians to ensure our future. We no longer feel powerless towards the ever nearing threat of climate change disaster. The current order is killing us. We choose to fight back as a consequence. We now know what we need to do: we stand together to enforce our collective green future.