What Happened At The New York City Climate Strike

Where were you on September 20th?  On September 20th, 250,000 people in New York- and over 4 million people worldwide-  took to the streets in protest of climate change. The New York City protest started in Foley Square at noon. The square was packed well before then, mostly with groups of youths who were given the day off from school to strike. Foley Square, although it was only a kickoff location, set the stage for the protest with speakers and performers. At 1:00 pm, protesters marched from Foley Square to Battery  Park, where they were greeted with a larger stage and more speakers. 

According to Patch, the speakers and performers at the event included: 

  • Vic Barrett: 20-year-old Juliana vs US plaintiff, climate justice activist 
  • Greta Thunberg: 16-year-old Swedish climate activist 
  • Xiuhtezcatl Martinez: 19-year-old indigenous climate activist, Youth Director of Earth  Guardians, Juliana vs US plaintiff 
  • Julio López Varona: co-director of Community Dignity Campaigns, Center For  Popular Democracy 
  • Grace Goldstein: 17-year-old youth activist, US Climate Strike 
  • Rebeca Sabnam: 16-year-old New York & Bangladeshi activist, Youth Advocate  for Cafeteria Culture 
  • Isabella Fallahi and Kevin Patel: youth activists, Zero Hour 
  • Artemisa Xakriabá: indigenous Amazonian youth leader, Guardians of Forest 
  • Marisol Rivera: 13-year-old Hurricane Sandy survivor, New York Communities for  Change 
  • Varshini Prakash: Executive Director, Sunrise Movement Judy Sheridan  Gonzalez, President, New York State Nurses Association 
  • Dr. Ayana Johnson: marine biologist and founder of Urban Ocean Lab 
  • Special performances by Jaden and Willow Smith 

The NYC branch of this protest was led and planned by youth activist group Fridays For Future. These same activists can be found every Friday striking outside the United Nations. The #FridaysForFuture movement began in August 2018  when 15-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks, protesting the lack of action on the climate crisis. Greta posted what she was doing on Instagram and Twitter and her strike went viral. On the 8th of September, she decided to continue striking every Friday until the Swedish policies changed. Greta hopes that people will strike in front of their closest town hall every Friday, take a picture with their sign and post it using the hashtags #FridaysForFuture and #Climatestrike.  

We need everyone to help fight for climate justice. Humanity is headed towards an irreversible chain reaction. We need to cut down on things like our greenhouse gas emissions, meat consumption, use of single-use plastics, animal agriculture. This is an intersectional issue. Those with privilege need to step up and demand change. In order to do that, we need more people to hit the streets on November 29 and even more on December 6. Grab an old piece of cardboard and hold onto it. Grab that same sign and bring it with you every time. Educate yourself on today’s issues. You may not like to get “political,” but we no longer have a choice. Our earth is suffering and we need to give back to the planet that gave us life. 

Names, data and dates were found using Action Network.