Climate Activists Organize Protests in Thousands of Cities Worldwide

Student activists gather for the New York City climate march on September 20.

Student activists gather for the New York City climate march on September 20.

Millions of people across the globe are skipping school and walking out of work as part of a massive, week-long international campaign to demand aggressive action on climate change. Beginning today, more than 5,000 events are planned in 156 countries on all seven continents, including strikes, marches, sit-ins, and festivals.

“September 20… is shaping up to be the biggest day of climate action in the planet’s history,” Bill McKibben, founder of the climate change campaign, wrote in The Nation. “Everyone from big trade unions to a thousand workers at the Amazon headquarters, and from college kids to senior citizens, are setting the day aside to rally in their cities and towns for faster action from our governments and industries.”

In Australia, marches are happening in every major city and more than 2,000 businesses are allowing their staffs to leave work to attend. More than 70 events are taking place in India, and more than 100 across Africa. Protests will take place in every Latin American country, including several indigenous-led marches in Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru. Europe has some 1,240 marches going on today, including 500 in Germany alone. Some 6,300 websites are green-screening their sites, directing visitors to the Global Climate Strike website instead.

In the United States, more than 1,000 protests are planned. The New York City Department of Education announced it will allow all 1.1 million of its students to skip school without penalties to attend climate rallies.

“We applaud our students when they raise their voices in a safe and respectful manner on issues that matter to them,” the NYC Department of Education wrote on Twitter. “Young people around the world are joining the #ClimateStrike this week—showing that student action will lead us forward.”