As in many other cities across the globe, thousands of young people walked out of classrooms in London and gathered outside the Parliament to demand climate action to the United Kingdom.
Protesters took the streets in central London with colorful banners and customs, with four main demands: save the future, teach the future, tell the future and empower the future – highlighted throughout the event.
The Guardian columnist Owen Jones and party leaders Jeremy Corbyn, Labour, and Caroline Lucas, Greens, were some of the main speakers at the gathering. Organizers estimated that around 100,000 people attended the rally.
“You and a whole generation have brought [climate change] center stage and I am absolutely delighted about that. If we’re going to sustain this planet, we need to get to net-zero emissions a lot, a lot quicker than 2050 [the government’s target],” Corbyn said.
Extinction Rebellion, the climate change activist group which brought parts of London to a standstill earlier this year, also voiced its support for the strikes.
“We stand in solidarity with all those striking in cities and towns around the world and feels honored to be standing alongside you during these urgent times. To witness the fierce compassion and motivation of the young has been a galvanizing force to action and we want to thank all of you for inspiring us day after day,” the group said
The worldwide climate strike was sparked when teenager Greta Thunberg sat outside of Sweden’s parliament last year during school hours. The 16-year-old took time off during the run-up to the country’s election with a sign which read “skolstrejk för klimatet” – “school strike for the climate”.
Her actions have inspired thousands of other teenagers around the world to join her climate change protesters, and Thunberg has become a leader for the global environmentalist movement.
Greta is currently in New York, having traveled there on a zero-carbon yacht to avoid flying, ahead of this week’s meetings. During her time in the city, she has met with Barack Obama and appeared on several US talk shows. She will be part of a summit at the UN next week that will urge countries to do more on climate.