Schoolchildren throng streets in vast global climate strike

Sep 21, 2019 by

Crowds of children skipped school Friday to join a global strike against climate change, heeding the rallying cry of teen activist Greta Thunberg and demanding adults act to stop environmental disaster.

It was expected to be the biggest protest ever against the threat posed to the planet by climate change.

Yelling slogans and waving placards, children and adults across Asia and the Pacific kicked off the protest, which spread later to Africa and Europe with crowds filling the streets in Paris, London and Berlin.

“We are the future,” said Vihaan Agarwal, 15, protesting in Delhi.

“We believe there is no point in going to school if we are not going to have a future to live in.”

Organisers forecast one million participants overall. In Australia alone, they said more than 300,000 children, parents and supporters rallied.

“I’d like to ask you not to cut down forests, and reduce garbage production, and not to use so many petrol-fuelled cars,” five-year-old Teo, told a crowd of 500 in Slovakia.

“Stop climate change now” and “There is no planet B” read some of the signs brandished by demonstrators in a trendy central shopping district of Tokyo.

“We adults caused this planet emergency,” said one of them, Chika Maruta, 32, marching with her colleagues from a cosmetics company.

“We should take our responsibilities for the next generation.”

  • Swedish teen Greta Thunberg has become the poster child for a new youth-led climate change protest movement (AFP Photo/Olivier Douliery)

– ‘We deserve better’ –

Swedish schoolgirl Thunberg, 16, has accused leaders of not doing enough to prevent harmful climate change by curbing gas emissions.

On the eve of the strikes, she insisted solutions were being “ignored”.

“Everything counts, what you do counts,” she said in a video message to supporters.

Demonstrators young and old echoed her cry.

About 200 marched in Ghana’s capital Accra, where some 44 percent of the country’s population has not heard of climate change, according to a study by Afrobarometer.

“Developing countries like Ghana are the most affected. We don’t have the resources to adapt to climate change,” said 26-year-old protest organiser Ellen Lindsey Awuku.

continue: Schoolchildren throng streets in vast global climate strike

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