Published: Sat, September 21, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Massive crowd gathers for climate protest in downtown Eugene

Massive crowd gathers for climate protest in downtown Eugene

In Berlin, demonstrators gathered by the landmark Brandenburg Gate, just a few steps from where Chancellor Angela Merkel's government is locked in marathon talks to hammer out a multibillion-euro climate protection package.

At least a dozen of the cohort turned up to the Domain in Sydney, where tens of thousands of students, teachers, workers and retirees turned up to protest.

"Even though we ourselves aren't sick, the planet which we live on is, and we are protesting and fighting for it", Siobhan Sutton, a 15-year-old student at Perth Modern School, told The Associated Press.

"And we have to stand up and fight", her friend finished for her.

Activists are also planning a series of direct actions and interventions - many of which will be a surprise since they are being organized regionally - during a week of action beginning September 20 in conjunction with the United Nations Climate Change Summit to pressure worldwide agencies to take immediate, dramatic action on climate change.

"Metal straws are not going to cut it any more".

West Berkshire Council's support for a third runway at Heathrow was also condemned by many in attendance. At noon, the group will head down East Pine Street, continuing on Pine Street to Westlake Park.

Several celebrities are like Jaden and Willow Smith are expected to be there, as is 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Hundreds of Vancouver Island students have left their schools and taken to the lawns of BC's Legislature Friday morning to participate in a global climate strike. "Australia is setting the standard!" Another 4,500 people are "interested" in attending. Photo: Kym Chapple / Supplied.

New York City's public school system has said it will excuse absences for students that participate.

Global climate strike: Worldwide event set to be marked in Letchworth and Stevenage | Education
St Albans pupils to join in with climate change school strikes

"If politicians were taking the appropriate action we need and had been taking this action a long time ago when it was recognized the world was changing in a negative way, then I would not have to be skipping school", said Jessica Ahmed, a 16-year-old London student.

Australia's conservative government - while stopping short of outright climate change denial - has sought to frame the debate as a choice between jobs or abstract Carbon dioxide targets.

It's the first time I've been involved in a climate protest where there are people that look like me.

"It's imperative that our governments take climate action", said Jackson.

"I should not have to be here today, I should be in school, learning".

A second strike is on the books for September 27, so leaders have at least a little time to lay out their plans before the kids gather one more time. The European Union should walk away from fossil fuels, the bloc's energy chief told Bloomberg TV this week after a record spike in oil prices.

The Australian chapter of the global movement specifically calls for no new coal, oil or gas projects, including the Adani mine. In this case, if it costs you an assessment, that is their choice.' he said.

"It's very inspiring to see the kids out and the parents who are willing to pull them out", said the organizer of the event Ruth Szaefer who is also a leader with Fridays for Future Guelph.

It's vital we get as many people of all ages attending the strike as possible. "The momentum from today shows that any candidate for the American presidency who wants to win our generation's votes must commit to making the Green New Deal the number-one priority of their administration". But we will also be back from lunch to report on what happened.

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