Jamie Margolin, the other Greta Thunberg

With its Zero Hour movement, which brings together young people committed to climate change, the American high school student Jamie Margolin opened the way for the Swedish activist's school strikes.

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Jamie Margolin, during a march against global warming, September 20, in New York. Brittainy Newman / New York Times-REDUX-REA

It is a halo of his testimony before the US Congress, On September 18th, Jamie Margolin, 17, arrived in Denmark on October 9th. Founder of the Zero Hour movement, the young American activist was invited by the mayors of the C40 network of cities – an organization that aims to fight against climate change – meeting for a three-day summit in Copenhagen. Here she is at City Hall in the Danish capital, where young people from all over the world meet for a seminar. His mother accompanies him. In combination of blue jeans, the thick brown hair knotted in a bun, Jamie Margolin looks like any teenager, the look absorbed by the screen of his cell phone.

She speaks fast, does not take gloves: "You adults have already your best years behind you. But when I reach the peak of my life, the world as we know it today will be crumbling if we do not do radical actions today. " The day before, to the mayors who had invited her, she offered an alternative: "Either you work with us (…). Either you clear. "

"I grew up admiring the beauty of nature and seeing what we were destroying. Jamie Margolin

The high school girl did not wait for Greta Thunberg and her school strike to mobilize. The climate crisis, she says, has "Always been there, in the background". She lives in Seattle with her parents. His mother, a Colombian immigrant, works in a food bank. His father, an American Jew, mechanical engineer, loves to watch science documentaries on television. "I grew up admiring the beauty of nature and seeing what we were destroying. "

The result, "Horribly catastrophic", of the 2016 presidential election in the United States is a click. "I thought that acting locally was not enough, it needed a national mobilization. " She launches, on Twitter, the idea of ​​a march on the climate. Teenagers contact her. This is the birth of the Zero Hour movement. After a year of preparation, on July 21, 2018, young people demonstrate in twenty-six cities around the world. In the pouring rain, she led the march to Washington.


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