Thousands of students took to the streets of Australia and other Asia-Pacific countries on Friday to kick off a global strike demanding world leaders gathering for a UN Climate Action Summit adopt urgent measures to stop an environmental catastrophe.
“We didn’t light it, but we’re trying to fight it,” read one sign carried by a student in Sydney, as social media posts showed huge demonstrations around the country including outback towns like Alice Springs.
“The oceans are rising and so are we,” read another sign held by a protester wearing school uniform in Melbourne.
Similar protests, inspired by the 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, are planned in some 150 countries on Friday.
The aim is for students and others from around the world to speak in one voice about the impending effects of climate change on the planet.
The strike will culminate in New York when Thunberg, who has been nominated for a Nobel prize for her climate activism, will spearhead a rally at home of the United Nations headquarters.
Thunberg noted the “huge crowd” in Sydney in a tweet, which she said would set the standard as the strikes moved across Asia, Europe and Africa.
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