Fridays For Future

Ken AshfordEnvironment & Global Warming & EnergyLeave a Comment

Millions of people are expected to join demonstrations demanding action on climate change in scores of cities around the world on Friday, including in hotbeds of the environmental movement such as London, New York, San Francisco and Seattle.

Many groups are involved in organizing the strikes including schoolchildren, trade unions, environmental groups and employees at large tech companies such as Amazon and Google, and their demands are all similar: reducing the use of fossil fuels to try to halt climate change.

In day of coordinated global action:

• Australia saw some of the first protests kick off Friday morning with organizers estimating that upwards of 300,000 students and workers filled the streets of Melbourne, Sydney and other cities in the biggest protests the country has seen in years.

• New Delhi, India, one of the world’s most polluted cities, saw dozens of students and environmental activists chant “we want climate action” while hundreds marched in Thailand’s capital Bangkok, before staging a “die-in” outside the Ministry of Natural Resources

• In London, thousands of people from infants to grandparents blocked traffic outside the Houses of Parliament chanting “save our planet.”

• Crowds had gathered in European capitals including Berlin and Warsaw, African capitals such as Nairobi, Kenya, while organizers say there are some 800 events planned to take places in the U.S. later. New York City’s 1.1 million public school students were told they would be allowed to skip class to attend protests.

Fridays for Future began as a weekly demonstration by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg in August 2018 but has since spread to more than 150 countries.

As of Tuesday, 4,638 events were slated to take place in 139 countries, according to Thunberg.

Here in the US, students — some as young as elementary school-age — have descended on John Marshall Park in Washington, DC.

Many of the students skipped school today despite being told that their absences will be considered unexcused. While some will be excused with a note from their parents, others tell CNN they are willing to accept whatever consequences they receive in order to participate in the worldwide protests. 

Protesters lined up, holding banners that call for action and chanting, “This is what democracy looks like.” 

Organizers say they have been putting this together since mid-July. Some of the children who are suing the government over the issue are at the DC protest.