NEWS

New wave of climate strikes takes place around the world

New wave of climate strikes takes place around the world

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world are taking place in the latest wave of climate strikes to demand urgent action in the face of the growing ecological emergency.

Last week, millions dropped out of schools and workplaces, uniting across time zones, cultures and generations in the biggest climate protests in history ahead of a special UN conference in New York.

Organizers said they expected another large turnout on Friday, with demonstrations planned from Canada to the Netherlands, Sweden to Morocco, Italy to India.

In New Zealand, a record number of protesters were reported to take to the streets on Friday. Greta Thunberg, the teenager who inspired the school strike movement with her solo protest before the Swedish parliament last year, said 3.5% of the country participated.

An open letter signed by 11,000 New Zealanders was delivered to parliament on Friday morning calling on the government to declare a climate emergency, following the lead of numerous councils across the country.

“Our representatives must show us meaningful and immediate action that safeguards our future on this planet,” said Raven Maeder, National Coordinator for School Strike 4 Climate. “Nothing else will matter if we cannot care for the Earth for current and future generations. This is our house."

As part of the Earth Strike events, large demonstrations are also expected in South America from the great Zócalo square in Mexico City to the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires.

Activists say Plaza Italia in Santiago, Chile will be flooded with protesters starting at 6 p.m., while protests will take place in cities in Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay around the edge of the Amazon rainforest.

In the high Andean plain of Bogotá, the environmental movement has faced severe repression. In July, protesters across the country called for an end to the violence that has resulted in the deaths of numerous activists, and the peace and development think tank Indepaz put the figure at 734 deaths in the first seven months of 2019.

"We want to keep fracking out of our country and demand an immediate shift towards decarbonization," said activist Susana Muhamad, who planned to pass the offices of the country's largest oil company, Ecopetrol, at noon.

More than 30 events have been planned in Argentina, where crowds will march through the capital from Plaza de Mayo to the headquarters of the national congress.

Among them will be Stephanie Cabovianco, a 30-year-old activist from Buenos Aires. "There are no direct leaders coordinating our movement in Latin America, and that is a good thing," he explains. "This is a youth-led fight, and its structure should be as horizontal as possible."

The strikes are a sign of growing awareness and anger of the severity and scale of the climate crisis among people around the world.

Earlier this week, Thunberg distorted world leaders at the UN for his "betrayal" of young people after the New York summit failed to meet ambitious new commitments to tackle dangerous global warming.

The climate activist told governments: “You are not yet mature enough to tell it like it is. You are failing us. But young people are beginning to understand your betrayal.

Video: Why protests matter. (October 2020).