A group of young climate activists who formed School Strike 4 Climate in Auckland, New Zealand, has decided to disband their group and forfeit their mission because of the irredeemable racism inherent within their group. The group made the announcement on Instagram.
The group, whose last climate strike was April 4, wrote that the organization was "disbanding" "under the suggestion and guidance of the BIPOC members" of the group, "as well as individual BIPOC activists and organisations."
They go on to say that because of these activists and organizations who are more concerned with group identity than with climate, they will not be "holding any more climate strikes in the Auckland region."
Moreover, the members of School Strike 4 Climate Auckland has pulled out of the national group, and states they "will only be using [their] social media to uplift BIPOC-led climate justice spaces in Auckland."
As for their justification for this move to give the entirety of the workload for their climate strike mission to minority members of their organization and give mere lip-service to their efforts on social media, the groups says that it's because "BIPOC communities are disproportionately affected by climate change, so the fight for climate justice should be led by their voices and needs, not Pakeha ones."
Pakeha is the Maori word for white people. The group said that "since 2019," School Strike 4 Climate "has been a racist, white-dominated space." They claim that as a group, they have "tokenised BIPOC voices and demands... in the climate activism space."
Their mission in closing their group is to "decolonise" it. Apparently the way to deconlonize something is to end it outright. There can be no redemption for the irredeemable racism of Schools Strike 4 Climate. Someone should probably tell Schools Strike founder Greta Thunberg.
There will also be reparations paid to the BIPOC members and groups, apparently, who have ben suffering under the horrible racism of School Strike 4 Climate, since 2019.
The white people apologized, too, "for the hurt, burnout, and trauma caused to many BIPOC individuals, including current and past members, as well as BIPOC-led groups."
An additional apology was meted out "for the further trauma caused by our slow action to take responsibility."
Even so, they know fully that "this apology can never be enough to make up for our actions on top of years of systemic and systematic oppression, racism, and the silencing of those who are the most affected by climate change." The apology is only the beginning of their "steps in taking accountability" for their actions.
The group, comprised of 8-18 year old New Zealanders, claim that their "attitude has been racist and dismissive of the voices that have rightly spoken out" against them, and they "apologise deeply for the pain" they have caused.
They called out the national group as well, saying that "racism is a big problem within the SS4C NZ team as well."
Schools Strike 4 Climate offers other avenues for donors and volunteers to direct their support and resources, namely, "to BIPOC activists, spaces and causes, especially those that are led by Pasifika and Maori people."
In conclusion, they state that the "climate justice space must be led by BOPIC groups and others who are disproportionately affected by climate change." They also insist that white people not get involved in fighting climate change anymore.
"We fully discourage any future and current Pakeha-led groups from occupying the space we leave behind."
The message from these white people is clear: white people should not work on the mission of climate change, because the work should be done by the people who are most impacted by it, not by those who seek to help lessen that impact.
On their website, the note that Schools Strike 4 Climate "are students aged 8-18 from cities and towns in every corner of New Zealand, united by our concerns for our planet." They were inspired by Greta Thunberg, saying "As the New Zealand movement of Greta Thunberg's strikes in Europe, we are striking from school to tell our politicians to take our futures seriously and treat climate change for what it is - a crisis."