60,000-Strong Fridays for Future Protest in Hamburg, Germany Prompts Question: ‘Where Are You, USA?’
Participants of the climate demonstration Fridays for Future walk through Hamburg, Germany on Feb. 21, 2020. Axel Heimken / picture alliance via Getty Images
By Andrea Germanos
U.S.-based youth climate activists on Friday drew attention to the climate protest in Hamburg, Germany, where organizers said roughly 60,000 people took part, and hoped that Americans took inspiration from their European counterparts.
Among those taking part in the large Fridays for Future action in the northern German city was school strike for climate founder Greta Thunberg of Sweden.
Fridays for Future organizer Alexandria Villaseñor of New York City shared Thunberg’s tweet showing the massive crowd and asked, “Where are you USA?”
“The United States needs these types of numbers on a regular basis,” said Jerome Foster II, a high school senior and Fridays for Future organizer in Washington, DC.
“What is it going to take for the U.S. to rise up like this?” wondered the Durham, N.C. branch of Extinction Rebellion. “We are in a climate catastrophe and people around the world, particularly in the global south are facing the brunt NOW! January 2020 was the warmest since we’ve recorded temperatures.”
Thunberg, who’s in her 79th week of Fridays for Future actions, noted in her remarks to the Hamburg crowd that the weekly actions have spread globally.
“For almost one and half years young people have been striking from school all over the world,” she said.
“The world is failing on ensuring us a future. And I honestly don’t understand how the people in power can continue like now. How they can look their children in the eyes while they are stealing their future?” she asked.
“We are facing an existential crisis,” said Thunberg, “but we must keep on pushing.”
While the Hamburg march drew attention for its size Friday, other youth-led climate actions took place in communities across the globe, which many documented on social media:
Week 6 of the climate boycott! We sat through the blazing heat and the lightening today. But no big change happened without sacrifice.
— Rae wants to burn the system to the ground (@raeesahnm) February 21, 2020
It's our responsibility#FridaysForFuture#ClimateCrisis deepens poverty
Threaten food and water supply
Makes people homeless
Reduces #AirQuality@GretaThunberg@Greenpeace @Fridays4future @Fridays4FutureU @FoundationVeer @cookswelljikos pic.twitter.com/wACUNbqbQc
— #Together4OurPlanet (@patriciakombo) February 21, 2020
Villaseñor, in a Friday tweet sharing the climate action she spearheaded in New York, underscored her steadfastness in her demand for urgent and bold action to tackle the ecological crisis.
“It’s cold, we’re tired, and we’re not stopping,” she wrote.
WEEK 63 #ClimateStrike at the @UN – and then at NYC City Hall! Today I was joined by @MarielS1115 from @Montessori_MUN and again by @JacobHB2005. Then we met up with @F4F_NYC. It's cold, we're tired, and we're not stopping. pic.twitter.com/keGD57RNxr
— Alexandria Villaseñor (@AlexandriaV2005) February 21, 2020
Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.
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