A Huge Climate Change Protest Is Coming to the US, Thanks to This 15-Year-Old Swedish Girl

Last August, 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg sat on the cobblestones outside parliament buildings in central Stockholm every day for nearly three weeks to protest her government’s failure to take action on climate change.

Thunberg had a “Strike for the Climate” placard beside her, and she handed out leaflets to passersby that read: “I am doing this because you adults are sh*tting on my future.”

Over the past six months, a huge climate change movement — mostly led by teenage girls and young women — has grown from Thunberg’s lone protest.

The initiative has spread across Europe and Australia and will soon arrive in the U.S.

Timeline of the Protests

  • September 4, 2018: Four teenagers sit outside the House of Representatives in the Netherlands for almost three weeks
  • November 28, 2018: Hundreds of teens gather outside Australia’s Parliament House in Canberra
  • November 30, 2018: Around 15,000 Australian students stage a strike for climate action
  • January 18, 2019: In Switzerland an estimated 22,000 students join protests, along with another 35,000 teens in Germany
  • January/February 2019: At the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, 35,000 protestors gather, and another 50,000 go on strike over the next two weeks.

All of this stemmed from the actions of one Swedish teen. Thunberg has been compared to the March for Our Lives organizers, who survived the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in February 2018.

Now the climate action movement is about to break through in the U.S. March 15 will see a day of school strikes globally.

Beyond providing the stimulus for worldwide action, Thunberg has also spoken at various venues about her belief that we have only 12 years left to avoid catastrophic climate change. Last month she addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Here’s an excerpt from her speech:

Adults keep saying: “We owe it to the young people to give them hope.”

But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.

You can see the entire speech here.

Thunberg also addressed global climate change talks last December, and she has given her own TED talk.

Thunberg’s personal video about her climate change strike went viral. “We are on a school strike for the climate… We urge everyone to do the same wherever you are,” she declared.

Of all the strikes around the world, some of the most dramatic have taken place in Belgium. When 17-year-old Anuna De Wever saw Thunberg’s video, she was inspired to take action in her own country. Along with her best friend Kyra Gangois, De Wever created a video calling on their fellow students to strike in January. Expecting a few people to show up, they were amazed when around 3,000 teens arrived.

Since then, the numbers have grown to as many as 30,000 on Thursdays across Belgium — and even more at weekends.

“When we started it, Kyra and me, we thought it would be just 20 people,” De Wever told BuzzFeed News in a phone interview. “I’m so thankful to my generation that they really care about it.”

And we are so thankful to Greta Thunberg for her fiercely activist position on climate change. Young women around the world are on the move!

Photo Credit: Avaaz/Flickr

69 comments

Victoria P
Victoria P24 days ago

Thank you

SEND
Victoria P
Victoria P24 days ago

Thank you, Judy

SEND
Shae L
Shae Lee25 days ago

Thanks for sharing!

SEND
Tabot T
Tabot T26 days ago

Thanks for sharing!

SEND
Caitlin L
Caitlin L26 days ago

Brilliant

SEND
Chad Anderson
Chad A26 days ago

Thank you.

SEND
Glennis W
Glennis Whitney26 days ago

Thank you for caring and sharing

SEND
Glennis W
Glennis Whitney26 days ago

Cop this thump fantastic marchers Thank you for caring and sharing

SEND
Glennis W
Glennis Whitney26 days ago

Not before time Thank you for caring and sharing

SEND
Glennis W
Glennis Whitney26 days ago

HOORAY Thank you for caring and sharing

SEND