With a sense of the utmost urgency, protesters took to the streets in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Sept. 20, to demand action on climate change, led by those who have the most to lose if the world keeps heating up: the children. A good many walked out of class to join an estimated 4 million people in over 150 cities worldwide for a “global climate strike,” possibly the largest environmental protest day in world history.
Claiming that their government is failing future generations, the assembly gathered at John Marshall Park before marching five blocks on Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol West Lawn. They carried homemade signs proclaiming “March Now or Swim,” “Stop Burning Our Future,” “Make Earth Great Again” and “It’s Time to Panic.”
The global climate crisis will be at the top of the agenda on Monday, Sept. 23, when the United Nations General Assembly kicks off the new session with a climate action summit.
President Donald Trump, who has been working to roll back restrictions on everything from vehicle to power plant emissions, has made it a point not to attend the U.N.’s climate summit. It was Trump, of course, who announced soon after taking office that he was withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, the landmark treaty signed at the last big U.N. climate summit in 2015.
“If the world was cool we would be in school” said Greta Thunberg, addressing a large sister climate rally in Manhattan, also on Friday. Thunberg is the Swedish teenager who started the climate strike movement as a weekly demonstration in August of 2018. “We are united by the science and we will do everything in our power to stop this crisis from getting worse.”
View Jeff Malet’s photos from Friday’s climate protest in D.C. by clicking on the photo icons below.