It’s part of the much larger Global Climate Strike, inspired by teen activist Greta Thunberg in Sweden. The 16-year-old, who spoke at the United Nations Climate Change conference in December, started an international movement known as “Fridays for Future.”
The weekly strikes are taking place in over 1,700 cities across more than 100 countries—and now American students are joining in, as they push for environment-improving initiatives, like the Green New Deal. Led by Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, the non-binding resolution calls for a complete switch to renewable energy in the U.S. by 2030.
Currently, teens are frustrated that politicians aren’t doing more to protect the planet. “The political climate in the States right now is doing nothing,” 17-year-old Max Prestigiacomo, who’s championing a strike in Wisconsin, told NBC News. “They’re bargaining with our future.”
It’s not the first time that teens have organized a nationwide walkout. In February 2018, students at schools all over the country staged strikes to protest government inaction on gun control following the Parkland shooting.
And while protests like both today’s and the one in 2018 are frowned upon by some lawmakers, many teens, like 12-year-old Haven Coleman, one of the organizers of a strike in Denver, think it’s necessary. She told NPR, “Because [politicians are] not really listening to us now, this is the radical stuff that we need to do to get [their] attention.”
The U.S. students at least have the support of Thunberg, who tweeted on Thursday, “Everyone is welcome. Everyone is needed. Let’s change history. And let’s never stop for as long as it takes.”
Browse pictures of some of the worldwide strikes happening today below:
Tomorrow we school strike for the climate in 1769 places in 112 countries around the world. And counting.
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) March 14, 2019
Students protesting in Portugal.
— European Greens (@europeangreens) March 15, 2019
— Michael Sinclair (@mikes_nature) March 15, 2019
As well as London.
First counts are in for #YouthStrike4Climate. C.20,000 people in London today, 2k Manchester, 3k Brighton, 1k Newcastle, 1k Sheffield,1k Liverpool, 1000s more across the U.K. This is extraordinary. pic.twitter.com/svIG40yPBE
— Hannah Martin (@Hannah_RM) March 15, 2019