In more than 3,600 locations around the world today, students walked out of classrooms and took to the streets to demand action to fight climate change. This is the third climate strike that teens have led in 2019 and it will kick off the first-ever UN Youth Climate Summit in New York on Saturday. The movement began 12 months ago, when 16-year-old Greta Thunberg started protesting alone on Fridays outside of the Swedish Parliament building in Stockholm to call attention to the environmental crisis. Thunberg—who addressed Congress on the subject earlier this week—spent the afternoon marching in New York, alongside other teen activists.
And nationwide, girls in particular took a stand, demanding more from their parents and their politicians. Kate Puharich, a Chicago-based high school freshman told the Chicago Tribune that she’d “always been told, ‘Just wait when you’re older to get into politics.'” But when she saw the United Nations report that the damage done to the environment will become irreversible by 2030, she thought, “Wow, I can’t wait that long.”
Others echoed her demand for urgent action. “I’d rather go protest about the Earth and how something’s going wrong than sit in my classroom and act like nothing’s happening,” one high school student shared with the radio station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio.
“It’s our futures—if we don’t stand up now then eventually it will be too late,” San Francisco eighth grader Lily Salazar told Mercury News. “We’re going to have to live with it.”
Here, we’ve collected the most powerful and hopeful scenes from the Global Climate Strike.