Thousands join climate strike in New York City

Sunday, 22 Sep, 2019

Global Climate Strike's website states: "We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart".

Here in NY, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who inspired the movement, will take part in a large march this afternoon. Critchley cited Pope Francis' encyclical and his Franciscan order as reasons for his support of the climate strike.

Australia has been struck in recent years by droughts, more intense bushfires, devastating floods and the blanching of the Great Barrier Reef - phenomena experts have blamed on a changing climate.

Life in the north is rapidly changing for Inuit.

The demonstration in the capital was organized by a group called Fridays for Future Tokyo (FFFT).

On Saturday, the group shared images of more demonstrations being held in countries including Kenya, France, and Indonesia.

Earlier this month Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde said addressing the climate emergency is a top priority for First Nations heading into next month's federal election.

In San Francisco, hundreds of young high school and college students converged with other adult demonstrators who started their march at the federal building in downtown area, urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Dianne Feinstein, both from San Francisco, to take actions on climate issues. She said, "Over the past couple days many colleagues of all levels have come up to me at work, and said they are joining the global walkout, because their children care about it".

The attack will soon culminate in NY when Thunberg that has been nominated for a Nobel prize because of her climate activism will spearhead a march in the house of the United Nations headquarters.

"Change is coming whether they like it or not", said Ms Thunberg, hitting out at skeptics as she wrapped up the massive day of action in NY, where she said that 250,000 protested. "It's important because these are the people we elected ... something needs to be done".

Young people want to see Congress pass legislation, like the Green New Deal, to prevent the worst consequences of climate change, said Emilio Rosas Linhard, 17, a senior at Clayton High School.

She said decision-makers are operating within those parameters and not developing solutions that meet the scientific targets or the advice of Indigenous elders. They're trying to exaggerate their action on climate. Here, it feels like we are still stuck in the conversation of whether the climate crisis is real or not.

Yazzie said Indigenous peoples' perspectives on the climate crisis must be valued and included in any meaningful action.

Protesters at the youth climate strike at Boston City Hall Plaza
Protesters at the youth climate strike at Boston City Hall Plaza

Elizabeth Love, CC '22 and co-hub coordinator of Sunrise Columbia, said she was very excited about the climate strike. "That's what brought me here". Steel workers, nurses and other unionized employees joined the Manhattan protest, already swelled after city authorities let children miss school without penalty Friday.

"We caused this problem, and it's time for us to solve it", said Shawn, a 16-year-old protester.

"We're actually at a powerful moment because the oldest wisdom traditions and the newest ones are kind of meshing".

"Even though there aren't many of us here today, I'm hoping our government will hear our requests and implement policies such as increasing the number of trees that are planted around the city". Graves told the student organizers the pact allows China to continue emitting more carbon dioxide while the USA cuts emissions.

Not all their students were able to attend, but those who did marched and held signs chanting phrases such as "Big oil you suck, you sold our future for a buck!" and "Our future, our choice, let's raise our voice".

Some students were marching for climate for the first time, joining the rally "because our planet is dying, and no one seems to notice". We are doing this to wake the leaders up.

"They're going to scream loud enough". She requested. "We demand a safe future. Is that really too much to ask?"

In spring, Miyazaki showed a video of Thunberg in her class.

But she said Friday she is not deterred.

"Because this is only the beginning".

Then on Monday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has convened a Climate Action Summit where more than 60 world leaders will take to the podium to present greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.

The Portland Police Bureau said there were three arrests made related to the climate events, one adult and two juveniles. They were all inspired by Thunberg, she said.

Greta began solo protests outside the Swedish parliament by skipping school every Friday before quickly rising to become the figurehead of the movement of youth climate activists.