Global Climate Strike: A New Generation of Activists Take to The Streets

By Signe Steiner | September 2019

The other day, Amnesty International released 5 reasons why you should join global climate strikes and we want to share them with you! 

  1. It is your right 
  2. A safe future 
  3. Climate justice is inextricably linked to human rights
  4. Political leaders must be held to account to do more 
  5. Change happens when we stand together 

The first time I heard the term Climate Justice was on a podcast called Mothers of Invention, hosted by the first female President of Ireland, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and current Chief of the Elders, Mary Robinson and her co-host, comedian Maeve Higgins who joins in conversations with (mostly) female leaders from around the world doing amazing things in pursuit of climate justice. This way of framing the crisis by using the term climate justice really hit home for me. While climate change is an environmental issue, it is also a human rights issue. It is personal and it impacts all of us. 

 

September 20, 2019. There is no planet B. 

 

An estimated 150 countries are holding protests. Millions of people around the world gathered today to kick off the Global Climate Strikes. Activist on climate change, Greta Thunberg leads the march at the UN headquarters in New York City. 

The New York Post cites all 1.1 million students in New York City will be excused from school today to take part in the protests. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York tweeted this month, “Today’s leaders are making decisions for our environment that our kids will have to live with. New York City stands with our young people. They’re our conscience.” 

Young people are fired up and taking to the streets. The hope is that these protests will urge world leaders to address the climate crisis and make it a top priority. While young people are at the forefront, we are seeing all generations stand up for the cause. In Australia, more than 100,000 protested in Melbourne. Among the crowd; grandparents, parents, and little children. Banners flew in Kenya's capital city of Nairobi reading “Climate Emergency Now.” In Mumbai, India, one of the most polluted megacities in the world, young children protested in the rain under umbrellas urging us to #actnow. In New Delhi, a city with some of the worst air pollution on the planet, protesters gathered outside government buildings. Roughly 200 young people in Bangkok, Thailand gathered around the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry chanting “Save our Planet” before falling to the ground. 

Greta Thunberg posted on her instagram today, “Change is coming, whether you like it or not. Millions of people marching for the climate today. Estimates say 270,000 in Berlin. 100,000 in Hamburg. 100,000 in London. Up to 400,000 in Australia. But this image from today’s march in Kabul, Afghanistan is one of the most powerful we’ve seen so far…” 

While larger metropolitan cities are getting the spotlight from the media for today's protests, we want to acknowledge the efforts of smaller protests taking place in rural communities around the world. 

The BBC has posted a myriad of photographs from the protests around the world showing people young and old coming together to stand up for the planet. Take a look! 

 

What proceeds the “Global Climate Strike”

 

On September 21, The UN is holding the first ever Youth Climate Summit. This historic event will be followed by a weekend of events leading up to the UN Secretary-General's Climate Action Summit on September 23rd. 

The United Nations provides a more in depth description of these events here. 

We want to end our post with a quote from Kofi Annan, “You are never too young to lead, and we are never too old to learn.”

Topics: Digital, In the Community