Greta Thunberg Leads Climate Strikes in 150 Countries (Photos)Photo Essay 24 Photos Highlights From the Biggest Climate Strike the World Has Ever Seen
Youth climate activist Greta Thunberg is leading a global climate strike Friday, ahead of Monday’s Climate Action Summit at the United Nations. The Swedish 16-year-old rose to fame a year ago when she inspired a global student climate protest. She has been in the U.S. since late August after traveling in a carbon-neutral yacht across the Atlantic, and she recently testified in Congress about the appalling consequences of our leaders’ climate inaction.
“I don’t want you to listen to me, I want you to listen to the scientists,” the activist told members of Congress as she presented them with the 2018 report by the U.S. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “I want you to unite behind the science and I want you to take real action.”
READ ALSO: Sonali Kolhatkar: It’s Time to Strike for the Climate
Friday’s actions in New York City, which are expected to take place from Foley Square to Battery Park in lower Manhattan, will be covered live by Truthdig photojournalist Michael Nigro, whose recent work for Truthdig documenting the lives of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border won him a Southern California Journalism Award. Nigro will livestream on Truthdig’s Facebook page throughout the New York protests, as well as during Thunberg’s speech, scheduled for 5 p.m. EST. New York City has given local public school students permission to attend the demonstrations, leading authorities to expect 1.1. million children to take to the streets in New York alone.
Climate strikes involving both youths and adults are expected to take place in 150 countries in a massive collective effort to pressure global leaders at the upcoming U.N. General Assembly to address the climate crisis in meaningful, effective and urgent ways.
Follow our exclusive live coverage from New York City and updates from around the globe below.
Update: 7:33 p.m. EDT
The climate strike wasn’t just an event for those with access to cities like New York, of course. Here’s a snippet of a story on the day’s events in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“Save our future, save our future,” a class of second graders chanted Friday from their seats around the fountain near the North Point Tower in Milwaukee.
They raised Manila folders with colorful block-lettering with similar messages. Their cause: climate change.
The class from Greenfield Bilingual School was among a significant crowd that gathered Friday to call for immediate action to address the threat.
Despite being just 7 and 8 years old, they were anything but out of place. The crowd that gathered Friday included a significant number of students.
The rally was part of the Global Climate Strike that took place around the world. Students nationwide left school to attend.
“It’s really, really heartwarming to see that they care about this type of thing,” organizer Ayanna Lee, 17, herself a student at Rufus King International High School, said of the second graders. “But it’s also really sad that they had to leave their school day in elementary school to come out and tell their legislators and people who are supposed to be protecting them that they are destroying their lives and they need something done about it now.”
Oregon Live checked in with this dispatch from Portland:
Finally, Vox went globetrotting in a photo roundup showing alphabetically ordered snapshots of the event from Bangladesh, China, France, Pakistan, South Korea, Poland and other nations. Check back later this weekend to see Truthdig’s own photo essay featuring Michael Nigro’s memorable work.
Update: 5 p.m. EDT
Greta Thunberg updated followers on Twitter about the turnout in New York City, where she was preparing to give a speech:
The estimated number in New York is over 250’000! They closed the park because there were too many people… I’m speaking soon at Battery Park. #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/YOD80SxHaa— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) September 20, 2019
Earlier, Bill McKibben had also tweeted about big numbers in New York:
It is all but impossible to get pictures out of lower Manhattan this afternoon–the crowd, which we're estimating at 300k minimum, has overwhelmed the cellphone networks. It is big, and it is beautiful #ClimateStrike— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) September 20, 2019
Here’s a dynamic look at the scene in San Francisco around 1 p.m. PDT, with video footage from the local NBC station:
This day will go down in history.— Joshua Potash ? (@JoshuaPotash) September 20, 2019
This is the climate strike in San Francisco right now.
Demonstrators thronged into the streets of Los Angeles over lunch hour, as Greenpeace USA’s coverage shows:
NOW: Los Angeles is showing up strong for the #ClimateStrike! It's time to put an end to the age of oil! #ClimateCrisis pic.twitter.com/RDMd7VyAs0— Greenpeace USA (@greenpeaceusa) September 20, 2019
Update: 1:09 p.m. EDT
Truthdig correspondent reports live from lower Manhattan, where thousands have taken to the street to reclaim their biosphere—and their future.
Update: 11:53 a.m. EDT
The climate strike has featured no shortage of provocative demonstrations, including this protest in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
Tens of thousands of students and their supporters marked #GlobalClimateStrike in Berlin on Friday.
Climate activists with nooses around their necks and standing on blocks of ice between gallows intended to show that time for action was running out.https://t.co/JLXDLqzGsE pic.twitter.com/zww2LCs7VB
— euronews (@euronews) September 20, 2019
Update: 11:28 a.m. EDT
In London, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed climate protesters outside Parliament, promising a “green industrial revolution.”
“That green industrial revolution can bring about, I believe, 400,000 decent, high-quality jobs,” he said. “And with that we also have cleaner air, we have better quality of life, and we deal with many of the health inequalities that exist in this country.”
One hundred thousand here in London, thousands more around our country and millions across the world.
This movement will not be silenced.
I’m here with a message: Labour will meet your demands for a Green Industrial Revolution and real change.#ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/JBLiLjB6t3
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) September 20, 2019
Update: 10:35 a.m. EDT
Environmental activist Bill McKibben predicts that Friday’s climate strike will be “the biggest day of climate action in planetary history,” with as many as 400,000 people demonstrating in Australia alone.
400k on #ClimateStrike in Australia alone. I think it’s pretty clear this will be the biggest day of climate action in planetary history. https://t.co/G6mntSAyz7
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) September 20, 2019
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