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Youth-Led Climate Protests Sweep Across Europe

Thousands of youth strikers gather in Parliament Square in central London to protest the government's lack of action on climate change. (Credit: Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.

Thousands of young people in the U.K. are up in arms — not about Brexit, or the latest royal family gossip, but about climate change.

Students walked out of schools today in cities across the U.K., and other parts of Europe — the latest demonstration in what has become a global youth climate strike.  This movement started six months ago when Swedish teen Greta Thunberg began leaving school every Friday to protest on the steps of her country’s parliament.  Thunberg’s environmental activism is still going strong, and she has delivered powerful speeches to both the U.N. and the World Economic Forum on the urgency of climate change.  This is week 26 of her climate strike.  But she’s no longer in it alone.

Thousands and thousands of young people just unexpectedly spilled onto the road in one of the largest youth protests against climate change in history. #Climatestrike

These kids aren’t just hooting and hollering, either.  The U.K. Student Climate Network, a group that helped coordinate some of the biggest protests in London, Brighton, Oxford, and Exeter, has four very specific demands.

They want leaders in government to:

  • Declare a climate emergency and take “active steps to achieve climate justice”
  • Adjust curriculum to make the ecological crisis a priority in public education
  • Do more to communicate the severity of the problem to the general public
  • Lower the voting age to 16, so that young people can have a voice in determining their future

Alexandria Villasenor ‏HEY New York City and the @UN! I HAVE COMPANY! #ClimateStrike #SchoolStrike4Climate @GretaThunberg TY Ella, Maria, Cleo, Kate & Aya from The Institute for Collaborative Education for joining me today! More coming next week! @UKSCN1 @climatestrikeUS @StrikeClimate @greenpeaceusa Click to Enlarge.

Don’t worry if you’re feeling left out in the U.S.  The climate strike is spreading stateside as well, with a major national action planned for Friday, March 15.  And some young American activists, like Alexandria Villasenor, have already been at it for weeks.

Next month’s climate march is expected to galvanize not only students from around the globe, but also major environmental groups like 350.org, Extinction Rebellion, and the Sunrise Movement.

If one teen can spark a movement this size, we’d better be keeping an eye on all these youngsters.  Who’s telling what they might do next — save the world, maybe?

Read more at Youth-Led Climate Protests Sweep Across Europe

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