It’s Monday, July 23, and teens are calling for national action on climate change.

Grist / Greta Jochem

Pouring rain didn’t stop hundreds of young people from descending upon the National Mall at Saturday’s Zero Hour youth climate march. Sister marches all around the country made headlines, too.

The movement, led by young people of color, demands action on climate change and environmental justice. Their asks include a just transition away from fossil fuels, fines for polluters, and investments in mass transit.

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Teenager Jamie Margolin founded the group last summer, and the team’s been organizing digitally from all across the country ever since.

“There is no more time to turn this issue around,” Margolin told Grist before the march. “You are leaving us with a planet that is totally unlivable.”

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Speakers at the event included a 7-year-old D.C.-area activist and a coalition of young people from Standing Rock. It also featured a performance by Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, an indigenous hip-hop artist who’s involved in suing the federal government over climate change.

The marchers then braved the rain and made their way up Capitol Hill, wearing shirts with slogans like “Choose a cooler world” and holding up “Youth for climate action now” signs.

It doesn’t end with the march. In an interview with Grist, Margolin said they’re planning to keep the momentum going: “We have a lot up our sleeves, and this is just the beginning.”

Greta Jochem


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Zoya Teirstein