SYDNEY ― Millions of young people around the world began stepping out on Friday to support dramatic climate action.
Friday’s event is 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. 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. On Friday, she’ll be on the front lines of the protest in New York alongside many other young leaders of the environmental movement.
The global climate strike began early Friday in Australia and countries across the Pacific:
It’s early morning in the Pacific. Soon the sun will rise on September 20th 2019. Good luck Australia, The Philippines, Japan and all the Pacific islands. You go first! Now lead the way!#fridaysforfuture#climatestrike#schoolstrike4climate— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) September 19, 2019
(NZ + many others go next week.) pic.twitter.com/u1pji4SySN
In Sydney, police estimated at least 80,000 people attended the city’s rally, many bearing signs and decrying federal efforts to approve some of the planet’s largest coal mines. Other Australian cities saw even larger numbers, including 150,000 in Melbourne and 22,000 in Hobart. It was reportedly the largest strike the capital of Tasmania had ever seen.
Protestors in Sydney held beacons reading: “I want you to panic” and “There is no Planet B.” Many signs were aimed at Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, including one with the lawmaker’s photo and the name “Coaldemort.”
“I care about Earth and the environment,” 10-year-old Rebecca Manuguerra, who was at the Sydney rally with her mom, said. “I feel good that I’m not the only one just trying to fight for Earth.”