Thousands of Australian students protest in opposition to gas

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Thousands of Australian students on Friday protested to demand investment in renewable-energy projects, though COVID-19 restrictions confined the events to small gatherings and online activism.

About 500 protests were held across Australia, with other demonstrations expected worldwide on Friday.

In Sydney, gatherings were limited to no more than 20 people, while in Melbourne, which is under a stringent lockdown after a second wave of COVID-19, protests were held online.

Those who could protest in person carried signs and gave voice to their message alongside climate advocates.

“Their future is on the line,” Gillian Reffell, a Sydney resident, told Reuters. “We want to see our governments fund children’s futures, renewable jobs and not gas.”

The demonstrations comes a year after about 30,000 students and other protesters rallied across Australia to demand stronger action to address climate change.

The worldwide student strike movement started in August 2018, when 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg began protesting outside her parliament on school days. She has since been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.