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.
Thousands of #Brooklyn kids are marching now across the #BrooklynBridge to join Manhattan #ClimateStrike kids for massive #ClimateChange action. The entire 1.5 mile span of the Bridge is filled with children! pic.twitter.com/xhS2ZIha1D— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) September 20, 2019
Just got to the Uprose climate justice youth summit, where youth of color lead the strike, highlighting how folk of color have been affected by climate change amid the second anniversary of hurricane Maria. pic.twitter.com/TVbAh254AR— DENISE GARCIA ? (@DeniseJaeG) September 20, 2019
Many politicians, including the Democrats running to be their party’s 2020 presidential nominee, expressed support of the students:
Climate change will have the most devastating impacts on poor and working class communities and communities of color. If we aren’t talking about environmental justice, we’re missing the mark. Let’s listen to students and step up our game.#ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/nDSaV5KBaW— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) September 20, 2019
Dr. King was 26 during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. John Lewis was 21 when he became an original Freedom Rider. Diane Nash was 22 when she led sit-ins in Nashville. Our youth have always led the way & they’re doing it again at today’s #ClimateStrike. It’s time for leaders to act. https://t.co/ROyfwjna9U— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) September 20, 2019
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.
2 years ago, I had the worst day of my life, Hurricane Maria cake through Puerto Rico causing problems we’re still dealing with today. Today, I’m asking for politicians to do something about what makes storms like Maria possible#rememberPuertoRico #ClimateAction #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/i2GA8dHMls— Aj834 ??? (@aj8340) September 20, 2019
1/Hi lovely friends. I’m in Puerto Rico. It’s hurricane season. So far, the archipelago has escaped a natural disaster. Not so for the beautiful ppl of the Bahamas. Please remember them. On the 2nd anniversary of Hurricane Maria kids skipped schools, hit the street #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/nUufzQJmee— Sandra Guzmán (@mssandraguzman) September 20, 2019
2 years ago, the island of Puerto Rico ?? lost 4,645 lives to Hurricane Maria. We are fighting outside of @SantanderBankUS to demand the gov’t #CancelTheDebt because climate justice is economic justice. #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/vn1DbByuq1— Make the Road NY ? (@MaketheRoadNY) September 20, 2019
2 years ago Harvey struck Houston with 1-in-1000 year floods. Today it is #Imelda, devastating the city with another so-called 1-in-1000 year flood. We’re in a #ClimateEmergency. This is why we #ClimateStrike tomorrow. https://t.co/HVenf2EQeP— Sunrise Movement ? (@sunrisemvmt) September 20, 2019
Marches were held in more than 120 countries:
Keep Calm and show some love towards planet. Burn egos not coal, melt heart not glaciers, change habits not climate. #ClimateStrike #FridaysForFuture. Hyderabad India @GretaThunberg @CitizensForHyd @greenpeaceindia pic.twitter.com/75hYmh1YV8— Ali (@7aliabbas1) September 20, 2019
Primary school pupils call for climate action. #FridaysForFuture #ClimateStrike in Abuja, Nigeria. We want #ClimateJustice. Is time for leaders to walk the talk on climate action. pic.twitter.com/BseuTQ5S0h— Oladosu Adenike (@the_ecofeminist) September 20, 2019
PLP ? (@LaboursBlackPLP) September 20, 2019
#GlobalClimateStrike has started.. children demanding for #ClimateEmergency .. ‘we want more trees!’ #ActNow for their future! Join us take #ClimateAction @GretaThunberg @MumbaiMirror @350 @FFFIndia pic.twitter.com/3lmzPUNoFA— Fridays for future_Mumbai ?? (@fffmumbai1) September 20, 2019