Today’s student-driven #ClimateStrike protest saw parents, teachers and workers join schoolchildren to call for urgent action against climate change — but there was little sign of businesses.
“I think companies are not doing anything near enough to firstly acknowledge their complicity in the climate crisis, and secondly to support young people,” said Arron Gill, member of the GAP Art Project, one of the few businesses that has joined the strike in the city.
Only firms related to climate change, or environmentally-friendly companies such as cosmetics company Lush, joined the youth of Birmingham to call for action against the climate emergency.
Sean Farmelo from the Birmingham Bike Foundry said: “It is not in the interest of businesses to change the way they do things. It is the big corporations that are gobbling up the Amazon, our soil… they are causing this.”
In cities like Seattle in the US, workers at multinationals Amazon, Google and Microsoft have joined the strike and publicly denounced the “hypocrisy” of their companies on social media.
“In gay liberation there is a big awareness of pinkwashing,” says Arron, “when companies will liberalise their politics — whether that be through putting a rainbow flag on their logo for a couple of weeks — and they think that that’s enough to hide their complicity in homophobic acts or things like this.
“We need to be smarter.”