Around the world, an unprecedented mobilization for the climate

Little attended in France, the demonstrations were impressive in Berlin and London.

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In London, September 20, 2019.
London, September 20, 2019. HANNAH MCKAY / REUTERS

More than four million people, mostly young people, demonstrated on Friday, September 20, for the climate, in the world. In total, "5,800 actions in 163 countries, 73 unions, 820 civil society associations or 3,024 companies" engaged in this strike movement for the climate, according to the quantitative assessment presented by the international NGO, even if no overall count has yet been made. That's much more than at the last massive meeting on 15 March, when Swedish high school student Greta Thunberg announced demonstrations in 1,659 different places and 105 countries. Commenting on New York's mobilizations this Friday, the Swedish spokeswoman said: "We've shown what we can do, and now it's up to them (to the leaders) to show what they can do. "

For, this is about "The biggest mobilization ever recorded". From small villages to large cities, on all continents, young people walked, shouting their concern at the climate emergency and their anger at the inaction of governments.

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"No concrete measure"

Begun in Asia, the protests were particularly successful in Australia, with nearly 400,000 people, but also thousands of protesters in Japan, India, the Philippines, Pakistan or Thailand. African youth also marched, with 5,000 people in South Africa, but also hundreds of high school students in Kampala, Uganda.

Germany wins the palm of the country that has mobilized the most, with 1.4 million walkers. The event was very well attended in London with 100,000 people on the streets. Young people have also mobilized in Portugal, Turkey, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy …

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In France, announces 40,000 protesters in several cities, four times less than in March. But the 9,400 young Parisians, according to an independent count by the firm Occurrence for several media, were none the less enthusiastic and incisive in their slogans – " When we grow up we want to be alive "-, and wielding humor – "Grandpa, what's a snowman"… For this first "school" event of September, the denunciation of President Emmanuel Macron and the government remained a heavy trend. "Kerosene is not for planes, it's to burn Macron's ideas" was a great success.

"5,000 events in 200 countries, it shows that young people are tired of not listening, no concrete action is taken in the face of the climate emergency. We have between sixteen and eighteen months to act ", summed up Marie Chureau, an activist at Youth for Climate, a law student at the University of Nanterre. In Paris, a big demonstration was planned Saturday. Other initiatives will follow next week, from Juneau in Alaska to Suva in Fiji, from Novosibirsk in Russia to Lima in Peru …

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