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.”