Climate Change Protest

Atticus Tacopino

On September 20th, young people all over the world took to the streets to protest climate change. The event proved to be massive, with an estimated 60,000 attendees in New York City alone.
In the days leading up to the march, mayor Bill DeBlasio announced that NYC DOE students would be excused from classes to attend the march if accompanied by a note from their parents. This allowance prompted many high school students to take part in the strike. 

The movement has inspired young people all over the globe to take action against the current climate crisis. The goals include acquiring a Green New Deal, protection and restoration of biodiversity, implementation of sustainable agriculture, and respect of indigenous lands. 

In NYC, the climate strike went through Lower Manhattan starting from Foley Square and moving down to Battery Park. Thousands of people carried signs to grasp attention on climate change with phrases like “The oceans are rising, so are we,” and “There is no planet B.” The atmosphere of the crowd emphasized the urgency of the climate crisis. With global temperatures rising rapidly, concern about the 6th mass extinction, and increasing carbon emissions, young people are worried about the quality of their futures. It is clear that global warming will continue to be an issue if these problems are not solved. Marchers made their unease clear by attending the march and advocating for change.

Also in attendance at the strike was 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, who initiated the global climate strikes after striking last year in front of the Swedish Parliament. Thunberg took her fight all the way across the Atlantic ocean, traveling on a zero emissions sailboat, in order to speak at the UN Climate Summit on September 23rd. Her advocacy for climate change has prompted millions of young people to take action themselves with an organization founded by Greta called “Fridays for Future.” 

Anxious marchers waited in the 80 degree heat to hear Greta Thunberg give her speech, following performances from activists and artists like Willow and Jaden Smith. “She gives me more hope for the future than any politician,” said 19-year-old Micheal Torello about her work.

“We are doing this to wake the leaders up, we are doing this to get them to act, we deserve a safe future and we demand a safe future. Is that too much to ask?” Thunberg’s powerful words inspired the crowd to continue the fight. Her willingness to give up so much in order to confront the climate crisis is encouraging to other young people concerned about the climate.