More than four million people have taken part in an unprecedented wave of climate protests across the world, organisers said, in the most powerful message to governments yet to take serious action.
The global strike was billed as the largest climate protest in history days before world leaders gather in New York for a three-day climate action summit convened by UN secretary general António Guterres starting Saturday.
Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly young people, some accompanied by parents, gathered in Foley Square in front of the Thurgood Marshall courthouse in downtown Manhattan in September heat, waving colourful hand-painted placards.
“Cooler is cool”, “Remember when the earth was cool” and “The earth should not be hotter than me” read some of the signs, encapsulating a sense that climate action was now utterly mainstream.
The protest marched through the streets of New York to Battery Park, at the southern tip of Manhattan, to hear from Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. The social movement she inspired in such a short amount of time culminated in a powerful message to governments that to remain relevant to young voters, their actions need to change.
Organisers 350.org said protests around the world had mobilised more than four million people in 163 countries. That number could not be independently verified.
Amazing images flooded social media, those are shared below.
At the summit on Monday, politicians will make their response by announcing their plans for greater ambition.
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) September 20, 2019
NYCs massive #ClimateStrike march has begun, from Foley Sq down Centre St to Chambers St across to Broadway… and down to the Battery! Thank you @ClimateCrisis and everyone else marching! pic.twitter.com/WUpeRP0ZQS
— Gale A. Brewer (@galeabrewer) September 20, 2019
Across the world, the climate strike was an expression of people’s democratic power. The day was up to a strong start as hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Sydney, Australia.
— Sally McManus (@sallymcmanus) September 20, 2019
On the low-lying island of Kirabiti, where plans are already in place to relocate communities vulnerable to sea level rise, young people sent a message to the world that they won’t give up in the face of adversity.
— 350 Pacific (@350Pacific) September 20, 2019
There were gatherings in Hyderabad, the capital of India’s southern Telangana state.
Keep Calm and show some love towards planet. Burn egos not coal, melt heart not glaciers, change habits not climate. #ClimateStrike #FridaysForFuture.
Hyderabad India @GretaThunberg @CitizensForHyd @greenpeaceindia pic.twitter.com/75hYmh1YV8
— Ali (@7aliabbas1) September 20, 2019
And a roller-blade protest in Uganda.
— Simply Cliff 🇺🇬 (@GeoffreyEwarwa) September 20, 2019
From Nepal to Frieberg to Angola, people asked their governments to do more to address the climate crisis.
— FridaysForFutureNepal (@FridaysNepal) September 20, 2019
In Angola 🇦🇴 pic.twitter.com/O01yYBOhl1
— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK) September 20, 2019
Even in Afghanistan, a country torn by conflict and violence, people walked out for the climate under heavy security.
incredible photo of young Afghan women leading today’s climate strike in Kabul, flanked by armed guards (Ebrahim Noroozi/AP) pic.twitter.com/ppN62SsuUC
— Azeen Ghorayshi (@azeen) September 20, 2019
Huge crowds turned out in London and Berlin.
— Hannah Martin 🌍 (@Hannah_RM) September 20, 2019
— David Croyé (@DavidCroye) September 20, 2019
There were marches in Pakistan…..
— FridaysForFuture Pakistan (@Fridays4FutureP) September 20, 2019
…. and in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Just in from Jakarta.
— 350 dot org (@350) September 20, 2019
Workers in Brazil also showed their solidarity with the strikers.
Metalúrgicos da Compacta Print, em São Paulo, Brasil, aderem ao movimento mundial em defesa do meio ambiente.#ClimateStrike#ClimateAmbition#Unions#GlobalClimateStrike#GreveGlobalpeloClima pic.twitter.com/XmGLSb6VbP
— Metalúrgicos SP (@metalurgicossp) September 20, 2019