The September 20th climate strikes, that will continue for the duration of next week, have already seen 2,500 strikes registered globally and over 500 strikes taking place across the U.S.
The Youth Climate Strike Coalition in the U.S. issued a set of policy demands calling for a just transition to 100% renewables by 2030, a halt to all leasing and permitting for fossil fuel extraction, protections for frontline communities, indigenous people, and biodiversity through transformative and decisive climate action.
Coordinated by Future Coalition, the U.S. youth-led strikes includes Earth Uprising, Fridays for Future USA, Extinction Rebellion-Youth, Sunrise, Zero Hour, Indigenous Youth Council and Earth Guardians. The Youth Climate Strike Coalition is steering the national campaign, with active support, participation and collaboration from an Adult Climate Strike Coalition, which includes leading national organizations such as 350.org, Greenpeace, SEIU and March On. Youth and adults, institutional and grassroots organizations, climate-focused and social justice groups, are coming together as a unified front to demand transformative action on climate.
Xiye Bastida, Fridays For Future NYC said, “September 20th isn’t a goal, it’s a catalyst for future action. It’s a catalyst for the engagement of humanity in the protection of Earth. It’s a catalyst for realizing the intersectionality that the climate crisis has with every other issue. It’s a catalyst for the culmination of hundreds of climate activists who won’t stop fighting until the climate emergency is over.”
Vic Barrett, 20-year-old Juliana v. United States plaintiff from White Plains, NY said: “Because of the actions of the United States government and the fossil fuel industry, my generation has never known a world free from the impacts of climate change. Time is running out. This decade is our last chance to stop the destruction of our people and our planet. This is our time to join in solidarity with communities around the world to fight for a just future. This is why we strike.”
The strike actions aim to demonstrate that the fight for climate action is beyond one moment, and put a spotlight on key climate justice fights taking place throughout the United States. Actions, vary from fossil fuel project shutdowns to demanding climate town halls to mass actions against fracking and fossil fuel finance
During Climate Week, escalated actions will happen throughout New York City and across the US during the week of September 23-29. Communities are joining youth-led climate strikes, as well as coming together to protect families, air, and water from toxic fossil fuel projects, including in Minnesota, Seattle, Portland, New Hampshire, and more with hundreds across the country taking on the fossil fuel corporations and financiers.
Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, 350.org North America Director, said “The September 20th Climate Strikes and the following week of action across the United States is an intergenerational and multiracial moment to make our stand for our right to transformative climate action that preserves a sustainable, healthy, and livable future for all. With the leadership of young people backed by grandparents and parents alike, health workers, teachers, cab drivers and more, now is the time for all of us to come together to demand that real climate leaders at the national, state and local levels hold fossil fuel companies accountable for decades of negligence and damage.”
The first ever widespread global blackout will also be taking place with many organizations and businesses planning to stop business as usual by shutting down their websites and redirecting them to the global climate strikes website.
In New York City, the strike on September 20th will be led by youth strikers including Greta Thunberg, who arrived in the city to take part in the UNSG summit, kicking-off with a rally in Foley Square before marching to Battery Park for key speakers and performers. The weeklong movement will surround the UN Climate Summit being held on the 23rd of September, which will gather world leaders in an attempt to accelerate real actions to implement the Paris Agreement and meet the climate challenge.
Other notable strike locations are Washington D.C., Boston, Seattle, Minneapolis, Miami, Los Angeles and Denver.
The climate strikes movement inspired by teenager Greta Thunberg has spread rapidly across the world in the last 12 months. Strikers are demanding that governments step up to take urgent action to prevent catastrophic climate breakdown by phasing out fossil fuels, accelerating the urgent transition to a 100% renewable energy powered world with climate justice and equity at its core, and holding fossil fuel billionaires most responsible accountable for their destruction.
What People Are Saying
Jamie Margolin, founder of Zero Hour said, If adults want youth to be studious and pay attention in school in order to prepare for our futures, then they need to do their jobs to make sure a future actually exists for us. That is why I am striking for the survival of my generation and civilization as we know it. I am striking because it is pointless to study for a future that does not exist.I am striking for complete system change.”
Jesus Villalba Gastelum, Age 16, Earth Uprising LA City Coordinator/ Youth Climate Strike Los Angeles Organizer, said: “I live in Los Angeles, a diverse city of many roots, including Indigenous, Mexican, Spanish, American, and Tongva. We are organizing the LA Youth Climate Strike from a place of love, hope, and resolve. We are taking to the streets this September 20th in order to claim the future that is rightfully ours. While this mobilization is youth led, we welcome people of all generations to join us in kicking off LA’s week of action. Our march is calling out inaction on the climate crisis, and stands in support of refugee rights, human rights, and dignity for all.”
Katie Eder, executive director of Future Coalition said, “On September 20th the voices of thousands of young people from more than 400 locations across America will be heard as we strike for our future. Our message will be clear — we must act now to avoid the worst effects of climate change because all of our lives depend upon it. We are the new face of the climate revolution and we demand just and equitable climate action.”
Daphne Frias, founder of Box the Ballot, a member of Future Coalition said, “I’m striking this September to secure my future. When I take to the streets on the 20th and 27th, I take with me the resilience of my Latino and Disabled communities. People who are so disproportionately affected by climate change. Most importantly, I strike to show that you don’t have to stand to take a stand; our voices are our most powerful tool and I will use mind to protect this planet we call home.”
“A livable climate tomorrow requires halting public-lands fossil fuel expansion today. We’re proud to stand with Colorado’s youth calling for climate solutions that match the scale of the crisis,” said Taylor McKinnon, senior public lands campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity, participating in escalated actions in Colorado.
“We’re making a stand that we’re still here. The Gitche Gami is really important to the people of Minnesota, and we want to honor that through a peaceful prayer action on September 28th. Our goal is to teach people that treaties are a two-party agreement — Native people are not the only ones responsible for maintaining the treaties, but that we’re all responsible and we need to move in solidarity. We all need the water, and we all need to do this together,” said Nancy, MN 350, Minnesota Chippewa / Leech Lake, participating in a rally and gathering to stop Line 3 in Minnesota.
“The climate crisis is a human issue – affecting all of us. We are inspired by the youth activists who have led a global movement, and Patagonia is calling for urgent and decisive action for people and our home planet. On Friday, September 20th, we will be walking out of our stores, striking with the youth activists and calling for our government to take action. There is no room in governments for climate deniers and their inaction is killing us. We invite the business community and all those concerned about the fate of our planet and humankind to answer with actions and join us,” Rose Marcario, President & CEO, Patagonia.
“As people of faith, we say that we believe in love, in compassion, in justice – then it follows that we must join this strike as surely as dawn follows the deepest darkness. Our children are calling to us. We must respond,” Fletcher Harper, Executive Director, GreenFaith.
“Climate breakdown is one of the greatest human rights issues we face. Fighting climate breakdown is about much more than emissions and scientific metrics it’s about fighting for a just and sustainable world that works for all of us. We need to start by phasing out fossil fuels, building real and long lasting solutions and prioritizing the communities at the frontline of the climate crisis,” May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org.