School strikers first global day of action last March successfully shouted at the world “the planet’s on fire, are you listening?“. It raised adults’ consciousness about the scale of the emergency we face.

With today’s second coordinated global climate strikes young people in 133 countries brought way more people and loudhailers onto the streets. Their message got both louder, and clearer:  “It’s still burning. We’re not going anywhere. Who’s actually with us?”

 

The day kicked off with a characteristically direct call out from Greta Thunberg and others organisers for adults to join them for their next global climate strikes on 20 September right before the next UN climate summit.  Dozens of famous actors, activists, authors and artists responded and groups around the world have already pledged to stage a week of strikes and actions including a general strike on September 27.

Join them

Empowered and emboldened

Even before the sun came up on massive school walkouts that disrupted the streets and parliament halls of Auckland & Wellington, New Zealand or Melbourne or Perth in Australia, FridaysForFuture could sense that day’s climate strikes would surpass the 1.6 million kids who took action for climate justice on March 15.

But the stepchange was about more than numbers. We saw young people everywhere bring the action straight to the halls of power.

In New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, youth stormed the steps of parliament. In Bangalore, India, they occupied the entrance to the town hall. Right across East Asia, from Taipei to Tokyo and Tacloban in the Philippines, children marched up to their government’s Ministries, legislative buildings and town halls emboldened.

In Winnipeg, Canada, youth gathered on the steps of the Legislature to send a bold message to their elected leaders: invest in climate solutions, not pipelines.

In New York City, students gathered in Columbus Circle for a rally before a march. Students then staged a massive die-in in the middle of Times Square.

And in true French revolutionary style, high school students in Paris ‘borrowed’ a portrait of President Emmanuel Macron from the city hall of Paris’ 19th arrondissement and brought it along to their sit-in.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1131911868669415425

School strikes took place in lots of new places today too – for example, in Odessa, Ukraine where students protested together in front of government buildings.  Students in Russia who were denied permits to assemble got around this creatively by protesting individually (no authorisation required) and one very brave lone girl stood her ground in mainland China.

A lone climate protestor stands his ground in Moscow, Russia

 

In Africa, the action is only beginning.  FridaysforFuture Uganda is growing in numbers and determination to keep school striking every Friday.  And youth climate action for an Africa free from the exploitation of fossil fuels is just getting started.  Tomorrow, marks AfrikaVuka Day with further coordinated actions across the continent.

In many cities across Europe and Latin America, the sheers volume of young people (and their supporters) on the streets was enough to cause major disruption. Entire street blocks, major shopping streets, banks and bridges were overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands marching, chanting, sitting down and making themselves unavoidable (check out this 360 video from Paris).  Over 320,000 people were reported on the streets of Germany alone.

Berlin, 24 May 2019: over 320,000 young people were reported on the streets across Germany.

 

Will you join them?

The day is still unfolding as global climate strikes continue.  Isra Hirsi, a Somali-American youth striker from Minneapolis and co-founder of U.S. Youth Climate Strike will be among them:

“Our generation needs more than empty commitments, we need action. Young people like me deserve a sustainable future with air we can breathe, water we can drink, and a climate that is safe and healthy. We continue to make our voices heard and it’s time for all our communities to join us”

You can respond to this urgent cry for action today, by pledging to join young people on the streets this September for a week of strikes and actions so powerful it will be as unstoppable the school strikers were today.

I’m in

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