“This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice.”
Hundreds of thousands of young people in 123 countries skipped school Friday to demand stronger climate policies in what may be the largest environmental protest in world history.
“This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice,” wrote the Swedish activist and strike leader Greta Thunberg with other young climate activists in the Guardian Friday. “We knew there was a climate crisis … We knew, because everything we read and watched screamed out to us that something was very wrong.”
Thunberg, 16, began a school strike in front of Sweden’s parliament in August, and soon inspired students in other cities to join her on Fridays in what became the Fridays for Future movement. With her growing prominence in the public sphere, she’s become a voice of youth exasperation as the impacts of climate change grow more dire and governments fail to take steps to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions. “Our house is on fire,” she said in a January speech at Davos. “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.”
What Thunberg and her fellow protesters want from their governments is to “keep fossil fuels in the ground, phase out subsidies for dirty energy production, seriously invest in renewables and start asking difficult questions about how we structure our economies and who is set to win and who is set to lose,” as they put it in the Guardian. And they have the backing of thousands of scientists who’ve signed letters of support.
Strikes are also expected Friday in more than 100 US cities, and have been organized in large part by three girls: Alexandria Villasenor, Haven Coleman, and Isra Hirsi, daughter of the headline-making first-term Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
Here are some of the best photos and videos we’ve seen of the strikes around the world so far. This post will be updated throughout the day.
Seoul, South Korea
I can’t believe how big the #ClimateStrike is here in London. It’s huge. It’s been carrying on up the mall for ever. This is just incredible. They’re so loud and so awesome. pic.twitter.com/XKVVCS2Yj0
— Dr Nick Crumpton (@LSmonster) March 15, 2019
Cape Town, South Africa
— Jo Jackson (@jojacks0n) March 15, 2019
Youth in 2 052 places in 123 countries across the globe are taking a stand demanding #ClimateAction! .
Students outside parliament in #CapeTown making their voices heard.#FridaysForFuture #SchoolsStrike4Climate #ClimateStrike #Fridays4Future
Video source: .@AshrafRSA pic.twitter.com/aM5TitsPWz
— Greenpeace Africa (@Greenpeaceafric) March 15, 2019
— Kacey O’Riordan (@KaceyORiordan) March 15, 2019
— Esa Nikunen (@EsaNikunen) March 15, 2019
Quezon City, Philippines
— Christian Dommasch (@CDommasch) March 15, 2019
— Robert Rohde (@RARohde) March 15, 2019