“This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice,” wrote the Swedish activist and strike leader Greta Thunberg with other young climate activists in the Guardian Friday. “We knew there was a climate crisis ... We knew, because everything we read and watched screamed out to us that something was very wrong.”
Thunberg, 16, began skipping school to strike in front of Sweden’s parliament in August. Soon students in other countries began to follow her lead in what became the Fridays for Future movement.
As her media presence has grown, Thunberg has become the voice of youth exasperation with policymakers’ failure to mandate dramatic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in the face of catastrophic climate change. “Our house is on fire,” she said in a January speech at Davos. “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.”
What Thunberg and her fellow protesters want from governments now is to “keep fossil fuels in the ground, phase out subsidies for dirty energy production, seriously invest in renewables and start asking difficult questions about how we structure our economies and who is set to win and who is set to lose,” as they put it in the Guardian. And they have the backing of thousands of scientists who’ve signed letters of support.
Strikes also happened Friday in more than 100 US cities, and were organized in large part by three girls: Alexandria Villasenor, Haven Coleman, and Isra Hirsi, daughter of the headline-making first-term Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
Here are some of the best photos and video we saw of the strikes in the United States and around the world.
Seoul, South Korea
San Francisco, California
I can't believe how big the #ClimateStrike is here in London. It's huge. It's been carrying on up the mall for ever. This is just incredible. They're so loud and so awesome. pic.twitter.com/XKVVCS2Yj0— Dr Nick Crumpton (@LSmonster) March 15, 2019
Cape Town, South Africa
Youth in 2 052 places in 123 countries across the globe are taking a stand demanding #ClimateAction! .— Greenpeace Africa (@Greenpeaceafric) March 15, 2019
Students outside parliament in #CapeTown making their voices heard.#FridaysForFuture #SchoolsStrike4Climate #ClimateStrike #Fridays4Future
Video source: .@AshrafRSA pic.twitter.com/aM5TitsPWz
Prague, Czech Republic
Time to close this thread. For those who read all 70+ updates: thanks for sharing this journey over the world. This Climate Generation gives hope, let's make sure those in power finally take action! ✊ #Fridaysforfuture— FYEG (@FYEG) March 15, 2019
Photo: #ClimateStrike in Prague by @zewlakk_foto pic.twitter.com/QJhHxHatOt