'We are school striking because we have done our homework'

For the seventh week in a row Belgian schoolchildren and students are playing truant for the climate.  This week they are joined by Greta Thunberg, the Swedish girl who started the movement in her own country.  Greta met with her Belgian counterparts and held a speech in the presence of EU commission president Juncker.

As every Thursday for weeks now schoolchildren and students in Brussels are taking part in a march to call for greater action on climate change. This week the Belgian teen protesters are joined by Greta Thunberg, the Swedish girl who started the movement in her own country. Ahead of the march Greta gave an address at the European commission. Flanked by the Belgian teenagers Anuna De Wever, Kyra Gantois, and Adélaïde Charlier, who started the movement in Belgium, Greta called on politicians urgently to listen to climate experts.  She insisted that the teens were not only fighting for their own future but for every body's.

"If you think we should be at school, take our place on the street.  Or even better, join us so that we can speed up this process."

Watch the speech in full on our video.

Greta's speech was followed by an address by commission president Juncker, who, amongst other things, spoke of reducing the number of times we flush the loo.  The speech hasn't gone down well.  Belgian climate expert Jean-Pascal van Ypersele took to Twitter saying: "Really wondering if the President of the European Commission has any advisors who understand what Greta Thunberg is talking about! Very disappointing, if that can be called a speech."  

Greta's speech has been welcomed in several quarters.  Koen Stuyck of WWF says he has seldom heard such a powerful address and picks out the words 'we are school striking because we have done our homework.'

This week 7,500 teens gathered to take part in the demo that started from the North Station in Brussels at 1PM.  Greta Thunberg headed the demo attracting great attention.  The media was present in force too and at one point tyere was such a crush that police had to cordon her off and free her from the melee.


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