Thu | Oct 17, 2019

Young protesters around globe demand climate change action

Published:Friday | September 20, 2019 | 3:05 PM
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg (centre) takes part during the Climate Strike, Friday, September 20, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

NEW YORK (AP) — A wave of climate change protests swept the globe Friday, with hundreds of thousands of young people sending a message to leaders headed for a U.N. summit: The warming world can’t wait for action.

Marches, rallies and demonstrations were held from Canberra to Kabul and Cape Town to New York.

The “Global Climate Strike” events ranged from a gathering of about two dozen activists in Seoul using LED flashlights to send Morse code messages calling for action to rescue the earth to Australia demonstrations that organisers estimated were the country’s largest protests since the Iraq War began in 2003.

“Basically, our earth is dying, and if we don’t do something about it, we die,” said A.J. Conermann, a 15-year old high school sophomore among several thousand of young people who marched to the Capitol building in Washington.

“I want to grow up. I want to have a future,” Conermann added.

In New York, where public schools excused students with parental permission, tens of thousands of mostly young people rallied and marched through lower Manhattan.

“Sorry I can’t clean my room, I’m busy saving the world,” one sign declared.

And in Paris, teenagers and kids as young as 10 traded classrooms for the streets.

Marie-Lou Sahai, 15, skipped school because “the only way to make people listen is to protest.”

The protests were partly inspired by the activism of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who has staged weekly “Fridays for Future” demonstrations for a year, urging world leaders to step up efforts against climate change.

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