Three years ago this week — on March 15, 2019 — an estimated 1.4 million young people and supporters in 128 countries skipped school or work for what was then the largest youth-led day of climate protests in history. That record was soon eclipsed by even larger demonstrations later that year, with 1.8 million joining a May 24 day of action, and 7.6 million protesting for the climate over the course of Sept. 20 and the week that followed. The school strikes for climate movement, launched by 15-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden in late 2018, had reinvigorated the global climate movement and brought public participation to levels never seen before. By early 2019, thousands of young people were already skipping school to protest for the climate each week in Europe, but the school strikes had only just begun to catch on in the United States.
Community support is rolling in for Frito-Lay workers on strike in Topeka. Going into the second day of the first strike outside Topeka's Frito-Lay plant in nearly 50 years, a local relief fund had been set up to cover some union members' utility bills, as area businesses showed support for those on the front line. Members of Local 218 of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers Union went on strike Monday after about 400 members voted down over the weekend a recent contract offer from Frito-Lay. The strike will last for an indefinite amount of time, and workers participating in the boycott are going without pay until it concludes. Given some union members may struggle financially during that time, a local relief fund organized by 785 Magazine aims to raise enough money to cover each union member's water bill for the month of July.
Barcelona - Instead of taking to the world's streets to demand climate action on Friday as planned before the coronavirus pandemic, young activists from about 20 countries took to Youtube in a 24-hour broadcast to share ideas on how to fight global warming. In recent weeks, lockdown restrictions in many places have made it impossible for the Fridays For Future movement of young people to skip classes and march through cities or hold vigils outside government buildings in their usual Friday protests. As a substitute, they have been posting photos of themselves at home with their banners and placards, using hashtags such as #DigitalStrike and #FightEveryCrisis. They have also participated in webinars and video discussions to boost awareness and knowledge about tackling climate change.
Climate Strikes are happening for the same reason labor strikes often happen: Negotiations have broken down. CEOs profiting from the exploitation of workers and the Earth are unwilling to cede to demands that would improve the lives of those affected by their practices. And politicians are unwilling to put the good of ordinary people first.
Since we Shut Down DC on Monday, the US Government has shown no indication that it will act on climate breakdown. As a result, the Coalition to Shut Down DC will disrupt business-as-usual in the nation’s capital again. The Coalition to Shut Down DC will round out the week of Global Climate Strikes with another series of acts of civil disobedience, this time targeting specific climate criminals. Global heating doesn’t stop for morning rush hour -- neither will we.
The global climate strike wasn't intended to "amaze" so-called leaders about "the kids" and allow them to make generic statements about climate change to conceal their pro-fossil fuel industry policies and actions. The Canadian environment minister whose government bought an 890,000-barrel-per-day tar sands pipeline patronizingly tweeted, "The kids demanding climate action in New York, across Canada, and around the world have it right -- It is about their future." The prime minister retweeted a local Liberal MP's tweet, "Climate change affects us all. But nobody will be affected more than our youth.
On September 23, as many as 2,000 people seized key intersections across Washington D.C. on Monday morning, significantly disrupting business-as-usual in the U.S. capital to demand an immediate end to the age of fossil fuels, and a swift and just transition to renewable energy. The Coalition has decided to return to the streets on September 27, the last day of the Global Climate Strike. A broad coalition of climate and social justice groups fanned out across downtown D.C. to seize 22 intersections over the course of the morning, blocking traffic during rush hour. The coalition’s demands include a Green New Deal that brings about a swift and just transition to 100% renewable energy. It also wants governments to protect at least 50% of the world’s lands and oceans, and to halt deforestation by 2030. The coalition is also calling for climate justice for everyone. The transition to a clean future must boost rather than further harm communities hit by poverty and pollution.
The Shut Down DC protest that is part of the global Climate Strike did an excellent job stopping business-as-usual in Washington, DC. They did so with a wide variety of affinity groups stopping traffic on key roads and doing so with creativity, visibility, and artistic expression. Below is a series of tweets showing how activists Shut Down DC to demand action on the climate crisis.
“Were gonna strike cause the waters are rising, we’re gonna strike cause people are dying,” an Amazon organizer sang into a bullhorn in front of a crowd of around 3,000 at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle on Friday. Behind him, the Amazon spheres — two geodesic domes reminiscent of Buckminster Fuller’s failed experiment — glinted in the sunlight. Someone held a sign in front of the spheres reading: “Spheres are cool. Don’t wanna live in one.” Amazon employees have been organizing in the name of climate change for months now. Earlier this summer, more than 7,500 employees backed a climate change resolution that called on the tech giant to adopt an aggressive climate plan. Shareholders voted the resolution down. But the company’s climate activists refused to take “no” for an answer.
Millions of people came together yesterday for the Global Climate Strike. I was in New York City with some 250,000 other people and the energy, along with other people’s sweaty bodies, was palpable. I came as part of the People’s Mobilization, an effort to connect the issues of US empire and war with climate chaos, and from this intersection build power. After all, the US military is the world’s single largest consumer of fossil fuels, equal to the emissions of 140 countries. If we are to realistically mitigate the worst effects of climate change, the military industrial complex is a good (and necessary) place to start. But the issue of war has been largely lacking in the hot topic of climate justice so a coalition of folks, not least of all those on the receiving end of US bombs, felt the issue needed to be raised.
New York City - The People's Mobilization to Stop the US War Machine and Save the Planet begins today. The People’s Mobe connects the issues of militarism, climate crisis, racism, and decolonization. The events are being held during the UN General Assembly because to achieve economic, racial and environmental justice as well as peace requires the United States to stop its widespread violations of international law. On the weekend of the International Day for Peace, the People’s Mobilization declares its dedication to stopping the US War Machine and demands the US be held accountable for its destructive acts. The US government must begin to obey the UN Charter by stopping regime change operations, ending the use of unilateral coercive measures, often called sanctions, and ceasing military attacks.
In the coming days, thousands of young people across our region are going to be taking the streets to demand bold action to confront the climate crisis. On Friday, September 20, young people are leading a march to the Capitol to demand a green new deal, respect for indigenous land, environmental justice, protection of biodiversity and sustainable agriculture. Then on Monday, September 23rd, young people are joining people of all ages for a historic mobilization to #ShutDownDC for climate justice. Tell DCPS and Other DMV School Officials: Don’t Discipline Climate Leadership
"As a leader, we need to reach zero first and not be a company who slides in at the last possible deadline,” Nearly 1,000 Amazon employees have pledged to join the massive upcoming Global Climate Strike. The employees will walk out on September 20th to demand that the company “makes climate a priority.” The 941 Amazon employees that have signed the internal pledge includes workers at corporate offices, according to Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, the group organizing the walkout.