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Students Are Walking Out of School to Protest Climate Change Inaction

Strikes are happening in nearly 100 countries.

Getty

Thousands of students across the United States are skipping school today in what’s been named the U.S. Youth Climate Strike, as teens urge politicians to take action against climate change.

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:

Students protesting in Portugal.

And Glasgow.

As well as London.