These student-led strikes have been going on in New York every Friday for 39 weeks and are known as Fridays for Future. This week’s protest featured Greta Thunberg, the Swedish climate activist who began the school climate strike movement which gained traction worldwide.
“We shouldn’t be talking about ‘believing’ in the climate crisis,” Thunberg said during the rally that followed the students’ quiet protest. “Either you understand and accept the science, or you don’t. As long as we keep talking about believing, or thinking climate change is real, then it’s seen as something you choose to believe in, and then it gets turned into an opinion. And if it’s an opinion, it can be debated.”
Students won't be debating in New York on September 20th
“On September 20th and 27th, the world will be on strike again! Everyone is welcome, everyone is needed. I will be in New York on September 20th and in Montreal on September 27th,” she posted on Twitter. “Spread the word!”
The push was already on in Montreal for a one-day general strike by workers, unions, community groups and students Sept. 27 to highlight the existential threat climate change poses to citizens and the economy.
The co-spokesperson of Québec solidaire, Manon Massé, has already asked the activist be formally invited to address the National Assembly.
The teen with trademark braids and Asperger’s syndrome has become an unlikely and potent voice for ordinary people in the fight against climate change. Her solitary protests have galvanized a generation set to bear the devastating consequences of a warming planet if those in charge now don’t change course. Her blunt message — that “our house is on fire” — gained her an audience with global power brokers at Davos, the British Parliament and now the UN. She has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize without graduating high school.