Dear Commons Community,
Millions of young people around the world stepped out yesterday to support dramatic climate action. The day of protest precedes the United Nations summit next week on how to rein in the worst effects of climate change.
The global climate strike began in Australia and countries across Asia and the Pacific, and continued in Europe and Africa.
By midmorning in the U.S., people had gathered for approximately 800 protests planned across the country, according to the group 350 Action.
In Washington, marchers went to the U.S. Capitol building.
In San Francisco, thousands of protestors started off their strike in front of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.
Alison McCormack, a 17-year-old senior at Alameda High School, said she and about 60 of her classmates decided to strike even though her school said it would penalize them with an unexcused absence.
“I decided, hey, school for one day or something that is going to affect our entire life,” she told HuffPost, as she marched past the city’s famous Cable Car Turnaround. It was her first time participating in a protest of this size and scope.
Yesterday’s event was the second mass climate protest this year. In March, more than 1.4 million young people around the world were inspired in large part by 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, who staged a solo protest in her native Sweden. Yesterday, she join the front lines of the protest in New York alongside many other young leaders of the environmental movement.
Thunberg has become one of the most well-known faces of the youth climate movement, and in recent weeks has appeared in front of Congress, spoken with former President Barack Obama and has plans to speak before the United Nations next week.