5 Days Ahead of Strikes, Activists of All Ages, Labor Groups, Faith Leaders, Businesses Gear Up for Youth-Led Climate Strikes in Intergenerational Demand for Climate Action
- With 5 days to go until the September 20th climate strikes, there are over 4,482 strikes registered globally and over 800 strikes taking place across the U.S.
- Coordinated by Future Coalition, the U.S. youth-led strikes includes Earth Uprising, Fridays for Future USA, Extinction Rebellion-Youth, Sunrise, Zero Hour,Indigenous Youth Council and Earth Guardians. The Youth Climate Strike Coalition is steering the national campaign, with active support, participation and collaboration from an Adult Climate Strike Coalition, which includes leading national organizations such as 350.org, Greenpeace, SEIU and March On. Youth and adults, institutional and grassroots organizations, climate-focused and social justice groups, are coming together as a unified front to demand transformative action on climate.
- The Youth Climate Strike Coalition in the U.S. issued a set of policy demands calling for a just transition to 100% renewables by 2030, a halt to all leasing and permitting for fossil fuel extraction, protections for frontline communities, indigenous people, and biodiversity through transformative and decisive climate action
- The New York City school district, comprised of more than one million students, has given permission for youth to skip school for the day to participate in the strike. For more in the New York City strike and rally, go here.
- More than 600 health and medical professionals have signed a “doctor’s note” excusing students from school, declaring that the climate crisis is a health emergency.
- Over 1,000 Amazon employees will join the climate strike to protest the company’s inaction on climate change, the first strike in Amazon’s 25-year history. Here is a complete list of companies shutting down on 9/20 to back the strike and unions have also backed it.
- There will be a “digital climate strike” when more than 1,500 websites will go dark to support the strike on Friday. Websites include Tumblr, Kickstarter, and WordPress.
- A week of escalated actions are planned the week preceding the global strikes from September 23rd – 27th, with local actions planned in Washington, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Wisconsin, Vermont, and the Bay Area. Demonstrating that the fight for climate action is beyond one moment, these actions put a spotlight on key climate justice fights taking place throughout the United States. Actions, vary from fossil fuel project shutdowns to demanding climate own halls to mass actions against fracking and fossil fuel finance.
Katie Eder, 19-year-old executive director of Future Coalition said, “On September 20th the voices of thousands of young people across America will be heard as we strike for our future. Our message will be clear — we must act now to avoid the worst effects of climate change because all of our lives depend upon it. We are the new face of the climate revolution and we demand just and equitable climate action.”
Xiye Bastida, 17-year-old youth striker with Fridays For Future NYC said, “September 20th isn’t a goal, it’s a catalyst for future action. It’s a catalyst for the engagement of humanity in the protection of Earth. It’s a catalyst for realizing the intersectionality that the climate crisis has with every other issue. It’s a catalyst for the culmination of hundreds of climate activists who won’t stop fighting until the climate emergency is over.”
Jesus Villalba Gastelum, Age 16, Earth Uprising LA City Coordinator/ Youth Climate Strike Los Angeles Organizer, said, “We are organizing the LA Youth Climate Strike from a place of love, hope, and resolve. We are taking to the streets this September 20th in order to claim the future that is rightfully ours. While this mobilization is youth led, we welcome people of all generations to join us in kicking off LA’s week of action. Our march is calling out inaction on the climate crisis, and stands in support of refugee rights, human rights, and dignity for all.”
During Climate Week, escalated actions will happen throughout New York City and across the US during the week of September 23-29. Communities are joining youth-led climate strikes, as well as coming together to protect families, air, and water from toxic fossil fuel projects, including in Minnesota, Seattle, Portland, New Hampshire, and more with hundreds across the country taking on the fossil fuel corporations and financiers.
Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, 350.org North America Director, said “The September 20th Climate Strikes and the following week of action across the United States is an intergenerational and multiracial moment to make our stand for our right to transformative climate action that preserves a sustainable, healthy, and livable future for all. With the leadership of young people backed by grandparents and parents alike, health workers, teachers, cab drivers and more, now is the time for all of us to come together to demand that real climate leaders at the national, state and local levels hold fossil fuel companies accountable for decades of negligence and damage.”
“Climate breakdown is one of the greatest human rights issues we face. Fighting climate breakdown is about much more than emissions and scientific metrics it’s about fighting for a just and sustainable world that works for all of us. We need to start by phasing out fossil fuels, building real and long lasting solutions and prioritizing the communities at the frontline of the climate crisis,” May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org.
In New York City, the strike on September 20th will be led by youth strikers including Greta Thunberg, who arrived in the city to take part in the UNSG summit, kicking-off with a rally in Foley Square before marching to Battery Park for key speakers and performers. The weeklong movement will surround the UN Climate Summit being held on the 23rd of September, which will gather world leaders in an attempt to accelerate real actions to implement the Paris Agreement and meet the climate challenge.
Other notable strike locations are Washington D.C., Boston, Seattle, Minneapolis, Miami, Los Angeles, Denver.
The climate strikes movement inspired by teenager Greta Thunberg has spread rapidly across the world in the last 12 months. Strikers are demanding that governments step up to take urgent action to prevent catastrophic climate breakdown by phasing out fossil fuels, accelerating the urgent transition to a 100% renewable energy powered world with climate justice and equity at its core, and holding fossil fuel billionaires most responsible accountable for their destruction.
For more information about global climate strikes, go to globalclimatestrike.net
Vic Barrett, 20-year-old Juliana v. United States plaintiff from White Plains, NY said, “Because of the actions of the United States government and the fossil fuel industry, my generation has never known a world free from the impacts of climate change. Time is running out. This decade is our last chance to stop the destruction of our people and our planet. This is our time to join in solidarity with communities around the world to fight for a just future. This is why we strike.
Jamie Margolin, founder of Zero Hour said, If adults want youth to be studious and pay attention in school in order to prepare for our futures, then they need to do their jobs to make sure a future actually exists for us. That is why I am striking for the survival of my generation and civilization as we know it. I am striking because it is pointless to study for a future that does not exist.I am striking for complete system change.”
Daphne Frias, founder of Box the Ballot, a member of Future Coalition said, “I’m striking this September to secure my future. When I take to the streets on the 20th and 27th, I take with me the resilience of my Latino and Disabled communities. People who are so disproportionately affected by climate change. Most importantly, I strike to show that you don’t have to stand to take a stand; our voices are our most powerful tool and I will use mind to protect this planet we call home.”
Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director said, “The youth climate strikers have have shown the world what true leadership on climate looks like. Now, for the first time, they are asking adults to join them. This is more than just another march for climate – these worldwide strikes have the potential to be the largest mass mobilization on climate in human history. By striking in solidarity with youth climate leaders, adults have the power to disrupt the business-as-usual politics that have led us to the brink of climate destruction.”
Mary Kay Henry, President, Service Employees International Union said, “SEIU is proud to support the courageous students and young people across this country who are taking action for climate justice. We join our voices to their demand for an end to the corporate greed that is both polluting our planet and holding working people in poverty. As we fight for Unions for All, we will build the power to hold polluting corporations accountable and win climate justice for all, no matter where we are from or what color we are.”
“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.
“A livable climate tomorrow requires halting public-lands fossil fuel expansion today. We’re proud to stand with Colorado’s youth calling for climate solutions that match the scale of the crisis,” said Taylor McKinnon, senior public lands campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity, participating in escalated actions in Colorado.
“We’re making a stand that we’re still here. The Gitche Gami is really important to the people of Minnesota, and we want to honor that through a peaceful prayer action on September 28th. Our goal is to teach people that treaties are a two-party agreement — Native people are not the only ones responsible for maintaining the treaties, but that we’re all responsible and we need to move in solidarity. We all need the water, and we all need to do this together,” said Nancy, MN 350, Minnesota Chippewa / Leech Lake, participating in a rally and gathering to stop Line 3 in Minnesota.
“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.