Protesters throw a ball depicting the Earth during the "Global Strike For Future" demonstration in Stockholm on Friday, a global day of student protests that aimed to motivate world leaders to act on climate change. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)
Students in scores of countries around the world skipped school on Friday to stage protests against governmental inaction on climate change and to demand that world leaders address the issue immediately.
The coordinated action follows one in March, in which an estimated 1.6 million students from 125 countries protested instead of going to school. It was the latest event in a movement called Fridays for Future, in which young people periodically take action on climate change.
The movement was sparked by a Swedish teenage activist named Greta Thunberg, who in 2018 led a solo protest in front of the Swedish parliament with a sign saying “School strike for the climate.” Pictures she posted on her social media accounts went viral, and the movement was born.
The protest Friday coincided with current voting for the European Union’s assembly, which ends Sunday and is expected to show growing support for environmentally minded political parties. Mainstream parties have in this election cycle seized on climate change policies as a key issue, in part a reaction to the student protests.
In the United States, Brazil, England, India, Portugal and scores of other countries on several continents, students on Friday protested at their countries’ legislatures and other key sites.
In London, protesters marched on Parliament with signs including one that said, “Stop Denying the Earth Is Dying," and demanded changes in curriculum to include serious climate change studies.
In Brazil, students gathered outside the state legislature in Rio de Janeiro to deliver a letter dated from the future in which they lamented Brazil’s loss of coastline, rain forests and species.
In India, students in Mumbai marched in the streets with a huge banner that read: “Declare Climate Emergency.”
Students gather Friday in Columbus Circle in New York for a student-led protest, part of many school climate strikes around the world, against a lack of action on climate issues and to raise awareness about climate change. (Justin Lane/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock) Students take part in a climate rally Friday in Parliament Square in London. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) Students march down Queen Street during a climate change protest Friday in Auckland, New Zealand. (Hannah Peters/Getty Images) A student holds a sign up to her forehead with a message that reads in Portuguese, "Earth has lost its patience, us too," during a protest against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's environmental policies Friday in front of the state legislature in Rio de Janeiro. (Silvia Izquierdo/AP) Demonstrators lie on the ground outside the Portuguese parliament in Lisbon during a climate strike by students as part of the Fridays for Future movement. (Armando Franca/AP) The headquarters of the European Central Bank is seen in the background as students take part in an environmentalist demonstration Friday in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany. (Yann Schreiber/AFP/Getty Images) Young Spanish climate activists hold a sign reading, "The Earth is talking and politicians are ignoring," during a demonstration Friday in Barcelona. (Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty Images) Demonstrators carry placards and banners as they take part in a protest march demanding urgent measures to combat climate change Friday in Mumbai. (Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters) Protesters hold up banners during a demonstration for climate action Friday in Warsaw. (Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images) Students take part in a demonstration in support of climate action Friday in front of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. (Armando Babani/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) Protesters demonstrate with a banner reading, "EU elections equals climate elections," during a demonstration Friday in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. (Clemens Bilan/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)