Categorized | Bronx Neighborhoods

Thousands of Young New Yorkers March for Climate Action

Protesters made their way toward lower Manhattan’s Foley Square, chanting “The oceans are rising and so will we!”

An estimated 250,000 New York City students and activists took to the streets of lower Manhattan on Friday, Sept. 20 to demand worldwide climate justice. The march underscored with chants and song was just one of many demonstrations scheduled in 150 countries as part of the Global Climate Strike.

Strikers gathered at Foley Square then marched down Broadway to a rally in Battery Park where they heard from several speakers, including Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden who began the movement to strike school on Fridays known as Fridays For Future.

Thunberg’s Fridays For Future approach echoed throughout the march, with signs reading “WE’D BE IN SCHOOL IF YOU DID YOUR JOB,” and “WE’RE DITCHING SCHOOL BECAUSE YOU’RE DITCHING OUR FUTURE.”

The students missed a day of school to join the strike. The absence was pre-approved by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who announced on Thursday, Sept. 12 that the city’s public school students participating in the strike would not be penalized, so long as they received parental consent. Teachers and other school educators, however, were not permitted to attend.

“It’s weird that we have to skip school to save our lives,” said a 13-year-old student from the Baccalaureate School for Global Education in Queens. “I hope politicians listen to us.”

The official Global Climate Strike demand calls for ending the use of fossil fuels like coal and petroleum. Protestors emphasized several other issues, including sea level rise, pollution, the agricultural industry, excessive meat consumption, and corporate corruption.

Carole Yancey, 78, pushed through the crowd of young people on a walker and waited hours for the march to begin. “I am overwhelmed,” she said about witnessing a youth-led climate movement. “I feel like crying.”

Around her, people chanted, “the oceans are rising and so will we.”

While other demonstrations are expected to occur between Sept. 20 and Sept. 27, the NYC strike was purposefully set three days before the Climate Action Summit at the U.N. headquarters so that global leaders could witness the mass mobilization.

Leave a Reply