Friday, March 15, the Global School Strike for Climate was observed in more than 120 countries. This mobilization (Youth For Climate) was initiated by the 16-year-old Swedish high school student Greta Thunberg, who made her name for herself in August 2018 by waving a « Skolstrejk för klimatet » (student climate strike) sign every Friday in front of the Stockholm Parliament.
Becoming iconic (and also controversial) after the speeches she made at COP24 in Katowice (see reportage on this COP) and at the Davos summit, she spoke in Stockholm during this school strike in front of thousands of young people: « We do not accept this situation, that's why we strike, we go on strike for the future, and we will continue. »
In Paris, there were (according to the police or to the organizers) between 29,000 to 40,000 demonstrators who marched Friday, March 15. The starting point was the Pantheon and the end point was Les Invalides.
Here is an excerpt from the open letter written by the International Youth Strikes Coordination Group calling for the event and translated into 19 languages:
« We, the youth, are deeply concerned about our future.... We are the voiceless future of humanity. We will no longer accept this injustice.... We must finally treat the climate crisis as a crisis. This is the greatest threat in the history of mankind and we will not accept your inaction that threatens our entire civilization.... Climate change is already a reality. People have died, die and will die because of that, but we can stop this madness and we will do it.... United, we will get up on March 15 and many more times until climate justice is done. We call on leaders around the world to assume their responsibilities and resolve this crisis, or withdraw. You have failed in the past. If you continue to disappoint us in the future, we young people will make a difference on our own. The youth of this world are in motion and it will not stop. »