The protests across the UK yesterday were organised by a collaboration of several climate justice protest groups.

Youth Strike 4 Climate is the official name of the strikes, which attracted an estimated 15,000 people to street demonstrations around the UK.

The event is co-organised by the UK Student Climate Network and the UK Youth Climate Coalition, which are both based in London.

Both say they are led by students and young people who are passionate about climate justice. School Strikes 4 Climate Action is a larger, global group that has organised strikes across Europe and in Australia.

It was started by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old student who began lobbying the Swedish government last year.

She protested for legislation capping carbon emissions after heatwaves and wildfires in Sweden.

She sat outside the Swedish parliament building on Fridays holding a sign that read ‘Skolstrejk för klimatet’, or ‘school strike for climate’ in August 2018.

Students in copycat protests across the world began demonstrating on Fridays for climate justice, in a movement that became known as ‘Fridays for the Future’.

Yesterday, Ms Thunberg tweeted: “The British PM says that the children on school strike are ‘wasting lesson time’. That may well be the case. But then again, political leaders have wasted 30 yrs of inaction. And that is slightly worse.”

In the UK, some of yesterday’s protests were organised by the group Extinction Rebellion, a radical group that sanctions civil disobedience of its members in pursuit of climate justice. 

The group claims to have a “citizens uprising” of two million followers in the UK. 
On its website, Extinction Rebellion says: “We are in an Ecological crisis which includes a mass species extinction.  

“Our course is set to societal collapse, the killing of millions and possibly billions of people, human extinction is possible.”

Extinction Rebellion was in turn established by Rising Up!, a group that calls for “a revolution”, which it defines as “a rapid change in wealth distribution and power structures”.

In 2017, several of the founders of Rising Up! were arrested in London for organising a road block to protest against air pollution.

They were later released.