This year has proven that the youngest voices among us can be, at times, the most effective. 

Greta Thunberg began her strike for climate change with a piece of paper on the streets of Sweden, and Erin Curtis arranged a mighty march on the streets of Glasgow this summer that had even Billy Connolly among its masses. 

Now, Helen Jackson, a 21-year-old history student at the University of Glasgow, will take to the streets in solidarity with fellow climate protest strikers all over the world to raise awareness of the irreparable damage being done to the Congo rainforest, and how this will affect our climate system. 

“I’m doing a 30-day protest for the Congo rainforest,” Helen told the Evening Times. 

“Vanessa Nakate is an activist in Uganda who has been striking for 31 days so far, and she put out a call on social media for people around the world to join her. I was totally inspired so I decided to also join her, and I know there are some people in England who are also striking. 

“I know that I’ll probably never go to Uganda or the rainforest, because it’s thousands of miles away from me, but I think if it can make people aware that the planet is interlinked then we will be more aware of every consequence of our actions.”

Glasgow Times: Climate activist Greta ThunbergClimate activist Greta Thunberg

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Helen is protesting around George Square and Buchanan Street. 

“I’m at uni and I have the flexibility to do it, and I thought that it would be a good way to use my privilege to the best of my abilities. 

“I’m going to try and do it in a different place every day, but it’ll be mostly around Glasgow, sitting or standing for an hour every day on the street.

“I’m not sure it will be massively visually interesting ... but I’m going to post on social media and write about it all the time, to try to raise awareness of the work that the strikers in Uganda are doing because I think it is so much more dangerous and difficult for them than it is for us here in Europe.”

Thousands of people in Glasgow have become more aware of the consequence of their actions on the climate, but Helen says this only makes her protest more important – to raise awareness of the potentially disastrous result if the Congo rainforest, which is the second biggest in the world, is to be completely destroyed. 

She explained: “Although the movement to stop climate change is more established here, our actions here have far-reaching consequences, even if we don’t think about it. 

“The elements of climate justice and climate poverty play a role in why the Congo rainforest is under threat, and the interests of foreign powers in exploring African resources are a massive issue in the rainforest. 

“Russia is planning on building a pipeline through the Congo rainforest, which will massively implicate the forest eco-systems and their ability to regenerate. If it is destroyed, it is so much harder to build up again, and the damage is basically irreversible.

“If we raise awareness in the UK about the impact of our actions, we see the effect we have.”