It’s Friday, March 15, and hundreds of thousands of students are expected to walk out of school to protest global leaders’ inaction on climate change. Young climate activists across the globe have been anticipating this day like Christmas without the consumerism. Inspired by newly minted teenage Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg, Gen-Zers are rallying to send adults a clear message — you need to take our future seriously.
Several Grist reporters are in the field today covering the U.S. Youth Climate Strike. We will update this post throughout the day as the strikes unfold worldwide. For more news on the student walkouts, follow @grist on Twitter.
Here’s the latest on the Youth Climate Strikes:
Some of our favorite signs yet
As Seattle strikes wrap up, kids are laser-focusing their message at politicians
“To all those politicians who can’t imagine my and many other futures in a ruined climate, imagine being out of a job in 2020, 2022, 2024, or 2026 when I personally get to vote.” — Taro Moore, 12-year-old climate striker from Kenmore Middle School
“I really can’t conceptualize an idea where people wouldn’t believe this is a real issue. The way the environment has changed over past decade, droughts from America to Africa to Australia, it’s just preposterous that some people in the Republican party are opposed to this.” — Kevin, 17-year-old climate striker from Bellevue High School
“Anybody who wants to run for president, who wants to run this country, they’ve got to pay attention.” — Athena Fain, 15-year-old organizer from Ingraham High School
Police respond in New York as protestors block roads
Per 350.org, the protests surpassed 1 million participants worldwide
Strikes get going in the Pacific North West (Grist’s backyard)
California groups join in the fray
The pace picks up across the country
Strikes get underway in other East Coast cities
New York City is up and at ’em
International Youth Climate Strikes kick off
The night before the strike, youth across the country prepare for protest
At Columbia University in New York, students worked late into the night to make signs for the protest.
Ahead of the strike, student leaders across the country share their motivations for participating.
As united as Friday’s protests will be in their call for meaningful climate action, the reasons young people have for participating are also grounded in their regions’ unique climate concerns.
“Hurricane Harvey devastated our city,” said Shania Hurtado, 16, who lives in Houston, Texas. “It was a time when my family and my friends were in a state of fear. It was terrible. This is truly why I’m striking. It’s why I’m organizing the strike. It’s something that affects me personally and we have the power to prevent and we should do something about it.”