On Friday (September 20), young people around the globe left their classrooms and took to the streets to march in support of environmental policy reform.

Global Climate Strike was the brainchild of 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. The purpose of the action, which features local protests worldwide, is to employ the strength of numbers to demand that political and corporate leaders fight for the communities most affected by climate change and create laws and policies that will protect the earth. The strike, trending on Twitter via #ClimateStrike, was three days before the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit.

“Rarely, if ever, has the modern world witnessed a youth movement so large and wide, spanning across societies rich and poor, tied together by a common if inchoate sense of rage,” wrote The New York Times.

In America, the U.S. Climate Strike—organized by Youth Climate Strike Coalition—took place in more than 800 locations in all 50 states, making it the largest climate mobilization in American history:

 

Many politicians, including the Democrats running to be their party’s 2020 presidential nominee, expressed support of the students:

 

The strike coincides with the second anniversary of Hurricane Maria’s landfall in Puerto Rico, leading many to connect the need for climate change with preventing intense storms—and to acknowledge that without change, there will be many more.

 

Marches were held in more than 120 countries: