“We are not in school today,” 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg said in front of a crowd of tens of thousands of people in New York City’s Battery Park chanting ‘Greta, Greta, Greta!’
“But now,” she said, “We are not alone.”
What started a year ago as a solo protest has now ignited a global youth movement to spur climate action. From coast to coast, Amazon employees marched in front of the company’s Seattle Headquarters and New York City streets overflowed with thousands of people on Friday, all expressing their solidarity with Thunberg and her “Skolstrejk for Klimatet.” It was likely the biggest climate protest in world history.
Friday’s strike, also inspired by American teenage activist Alexandria Villaseñor’s parallel Fridays for Future movement, was the biggest youth effort yet to organize an intergenerational protest. Fifteen New York high schoolers, including Villaseñor, spent over two months organizing the strike.
All told, as many as 250,000 children and adults — students, workers, activists, academics, scientists — took the streets of lower Manhattan by storm in the name of climate action on Friday, according to the organizers of the march (the mayor’s office put the number at 60,000).
“I feel incredibly proud of what 15 people were able to accomplish,” Xiye Bastida, one of the NYC trainee organizers, informed Livescience.Tech. “I also know this is such a small step to tackle the climate crisis. But today I’m happy.”
The occasion ran for more than 5 hours, beginning with Foley Square in lower Manhattan, with speeches from speakers consisting of Varshini Prakash, cofounder of the Daybreak Motion. As strikers made their method down Broadway, the streets of Wall Street filled with chants like “What do we want? Climate justice!”
“I’m here following the leadership of the youth and indigenous people, who are leading the way of the climate movement,” stated Georgi York, a member of Oxfam, a not-for-profit concentrated on battling worldwide hardship. “I don’t think the world has seen anything like this. Now is clearly the moment for change, and we need to get behind the young people.”
The New York City City Climate Strike, which happened days prior to worldwide leaders will collect at the U.N. Climate Top, accompanied a march in Brooklyn for the Puerto Rico Day in Action celebrating the two-year anniversary of Typhoon Maria, the Classification 5 storm that ruined the U.S. area.
Organizers forecasted that 4 million individuals would take part in demonstrations worldwide, and the New york city Times reports that “several cities had turnouts in the range of 100,000 and many more in the tens of thousands.”
Though numerous students went to the strike in New York City, some of the youngest were not able to be there. Lots of grade school students made indications and prepared to participate in with their instructors as chaperones, however the New York City Department of Education revealed 2 days ago that New york city City public school instructors would not be allowed to participate in. The last-minute statement sent out moms and dads of kids who wished to march rushing. Without instructors as chaperones, numerous more youthful kids with working moms and dads needed to remain behind.
By the time the marchers reached Battery Park, the sun was blazing. The occasion needed to stop briefly numerous times throughout the afternoon for medics to hurry through the crowd to tend to passing out participants.
Isabella Fallahi, a trainee speaker and organizer from Iowa, took the phase, informing the crowd that she is from a frontline neighborhood where asthma rates are high. “I wake up at night feeling like I’m drowning. I can’t catch my breath, I can’t scream for help,” she stated. “I couldn’t scream then, but hear me scream now!”
The brother-sister singer-songwriter duo Jaden and Willow Smith required to the phase for efficiencies and quick inspirational speeches, leading the crowd in chants.
“This is the most incredible thing I have ever seen,” stated Jaden Smith as he took the phase. “As I’ve been getting older, I feel like the summers are getting warmer and warmer and warmer.” The set then introduced into his tune “Summertime in Paris”.
Lastly, Villaseñor, the 14-year-old New york city climate activist who started striking outside the U.N. Head office last December, presented Thunberg, the last speaker of the occasion. She took the phase to screams worthwhile of a Beatles performance.
At Monday’s U.N. Climate Top, “the eyes of the world” will be on world leaders, she stated. “They have the chance to prove their leadership, and that they actually hear us.”
“Do you think they hear us?” Thunberg asked the crowd. “No!” the crowd reacted in unison. “Well, we will make them hear us,” she stated.
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