6 September 2019 (Brussels) — A huge wave of climate strikes is coming this September, with people in at least 25 countries in Europe taking to the streets. Adults are joining the youth-led strikes that will start on September 20th and escalate towards September 27th.
Doctors, teachers, labour union members, publishers, faith groups, community organizations, celebrities and many others will organize actions during this period to support the “Week for Future and Climate Justice” – 485 strikes and other actions are already planned in Europe and that number is increasing daily with more than 2,500 events will take place in 117 countries around the world.
The climate strikes movement inspired by teenager Greta Thunberg has spread rapidly across the world in the last 12 months. The weeklong movement will surround the UN Climate Summit being held on the 23rd of September. In Europe, some of these actions will build pressure on European finance ministers who have the opportunity to prevent the world’s largest public lender financing dangerous new fossil fuel projects around the world.
From Spain to Greece strikers in Europe are demanding that governments step up to take urgent action to prevent catastrophic climate breakdown by cutting finance to fossil fuels, and accelerating the transition to a sustainable, renewable energy powered future with climate justice and equity at its core. The largest number of actions will take place in Germany where 191 events are already planned and the countries largest trade union, Verdi is encouraging over 2 million members to join the strikes. The United Kingdom follows closely with 139 events planned so far.
The Week for Future and Climate Justice will be marked with direct actions and activities highlighting the devastating impacts of climate and ecological breakdown that are being felt the world over. From record-breaking heatwaves in Europe, the Arctic and India, to wildfires, floods, famine and drought, massive inequality and continued repression of community voices, there is no denying we are in a state of global climate emergency – people are rising up to make polluters pay and hold elected officials accountable at this time of crisis.
Some Highlights in Europe include:
- Actions targeting fossil fuel finance are expected in Berlin, Paris and London.
- Unions in France, the UK, Germany and Italy will join the youth-led strikes.
- Spiritual communities are contributing to the moment, church bells will ring out across Germany in support of the strikes and there will be a Global meditation for the climate taking place during the UN Climate Summit.
- Musicians are being encouraged to do a Sound Strike where they put down their instruments and not play any live music on September 20 to protest climate inaction. While various artists have also shown support to Fridays for Future through an Artist for Future coalition.
- In the Netherlands, school students will strike from school on September 20 and walk more than 100km to join a large mobilisation taking place at the Hague one week later.
- In Belgium, a large strike will be held in Brussels on the eve of the UN Climate summit.
- In the UK, strikers will be taking action for migrant justice and calling for a Green New Deal in addition to other demands. One notable addition to the strikers will be staff at the Immediate Media (publisher of the Radio Times and Top Gear) who are demanding an end to oil and gas companies advertising in their publications.
- In Switzerland, a major strike is planned by the students in Bern who are demanding the phase-out of fossil fuels, climate justice, and a dignified life for everyone worldwide.
- In Eastern Europe, protests will take place against a mining extension in Silesia, Poland. Actions are also planned in Albania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Croatia.
- You can find out more about these and other actions around the world via our map.
“I call upon all students to come to the streets and strike to defend their rights and to demand a solution to climate crisis during the UN Climate Summit in September. We are taking the stories to another level because it is going to be global. I ask all parents to let their children strike and also join us because we need them,” Mathis Grossnickel (16 years old), Youth for Climate – Strasbourg, France.
“When Greta and the young people from Fridays for Future call for adults to support the global strike, we understand this to be a call to trade unions, workers councils and employees to get involved and fight for climate action and future-oriented jobs. We want to make a contribution so that September 20th is a turning point in the struggle for a fairer and more ecological society. We call on all colleagues to be creative so that trade unions and workers can become an active part of the climate movement,” Helmut Born, United Services Union, Germany.
“The climate crisis is a human issue affecting all of us. We are inspired by the youth activists who have led a global movement, and Patagonia is calling for urgent and decisive action for people and our home planet. On Friday, September 20th, we will be walking out of our stores, striking with the youth activists and calling for our government to take action. There is no room in governments for climate deniers and their inaction is killing us. We invite the business community and all those concerned about the fate of our planet and humankind to answer with actions and join us,” Rose Marcario, President & CEO, Patagonia.
“As people of faith, we say that we believe in love, in compassion, in justice – then it follows that we must join this strike as surely as dawn follows the deepest darkness. Our children are calling to us. We must respond,” Fletcher Harper, Executive Director, GreenFaith.
“We want our children to get involved at an early age, to learn about the impacts that the fossil fuel industry has on our islands and encourage them to be innovative and resilient in addressing a global crisis – which they have sadly inherited,” Paula Leo, a Pacific Climate Warrior from Vanuatu.
Please get in touch with us – we can connect you with students and adults who are taking part in actions in Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, the UK, Spain, and the Netherlands. We can also connect you with spokespeople from other regions.
For photos and videos:
All footage highlights b-roll & photos from the 20th will be available via the GCS Multimedia hub here.
Europe wide inquiries:
Ashwini Prabha – 350.org
Phone: +33| Email: email@example.com | Languages: EN, FR, HI
Mark Raven – 350.org
Phone: +447841474125 | Email: [email protected] | Languages: EN, TR
Additional International Contacts:
Latin America – Peri Dias, [email protected]
Africa – Lerato Ngakane, [email protected]
Asia – Tamara Amelia, [email protected]
Eastern Europe – Rita Mostovaya, [email protected]
USA – Lindsay Meiman, [email protected]
ABOUT THE MOVEMENT
Strikers are calling on people from all around the world to join a week of escalated climate action. This begins on the 20th of September with a youth-led climate strike, which will culminate in the first-ever global general strike on the 27th. We’re calling on everyone to join this movement and stand with the youth who have been sacrificing their education to unleash an unprecedented demonstration of unified resistance around the world.
This is just the beginning: Plans are already in place for further action to continue pressuring governments and corporations. The next wave of internationally coordinated actions begins in October with the first materialisation of what will continue into 2020 as a convergence of many organizations united as a “movement of movements”, marking a turning point in human history.