7.6 Million Join Week of Global Climate Strikes
More than 7.6 million people worldwide participated in the global climate strike between Sept. 20 and 27, according to the current tally reported by 350.org. That number could grow as counting continues, but the week of strikes is confirmed as one of the largest global protests in history. For comparison, the massive 2003 protest against the Iraq War drew between six and 11 million.
"This week was a demonstration of the power of our movement. People power is more powerful than the people in power. It was the biggest ever climate mobilization, and it's only the beginning. The momentum is on our side and we are not going anywhere," Fridays For Future International said.
Early numbers confirm at least 7 million people joined the #weekforfuture climate strikes! Thank you everyone, espe… https://t.co/ZoLKQhcPDt— Greta Thunberg (@Greta Thunberg)1569690059.0
Four million people participated in the first round of strikes on Friday, Sept. 20, making it the largest climate mobilization in history. But that number grew with strikes on Sept. 27. Large turnouts on the 27th were reported in New Zealand, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Canada, according to The Guardian and BBC News.
The day began in New Zealand, where more than 3.5 percent of the country participated, The Guardian reported. Demonstrators delivered a letter signed by 11,000 people to the country's parliament asking it to declare a climate emergency, according to another Guardian report.
"Our representatives need to show us meaningful and immediate action that safeguards our futures on this planet," School Strike 4 Climate national coordinator Raven Maeder said, as The Guardian reported. "Nothing else will matter if we cannot look after the Earth for current and future generations. This is our home."
27/09/2019 is one for the history books. #ClimateStrikeNZ https://t.co/WdkTukidlu— School Strike 4 Climate NZ (@School Strike 4 Climate NZ)1569737154.0
Organizers counted 170,000 people through a combination of speaking to people on the ground, talking to councils and police and viewing drone footage, New Zealand's Stuff reported. It's a number of historic proportions, Stuff explained:
If accurate, it takes the lead as one of New Zealand's biggest strikes (in terms of attendees) - beating out the 1951 industrial confrontation that saw 22,000 wharfies join the picket line for 151 days from February to July, as well as this year's mega teachers' strike, but not quite the 1979 general strike which saw almost 300,000 workers nationwide join the picket line for one day.
In Italy, meanwhile, more than one million people participated, according to ANSA.
"There are 200,000 people in Rome, which attracted the biggest crowd, followed by 150,000 in Milan," Gianfranco Mascia of Fridays For Future said. "There are around 80,000 in Naples, 50,000 in Florence, 20,000 in Turin and Bologna and 10,000 in Palermo and Bari."
Rome! #ClimateStrike #FridaysForFuture https://t.co/uGC9nrJPKw— Greta Thunberg (@Greta Thunberg)1569592908.0
Swedish 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, who has been instrumental in launching the school strike movement, marched in Montreal with half a million others, BBC News reported.
"It is very moving to see everyone, everyone who is so passionate to march and strike," she told reporters. "It is a very good day, I would say."
It’s official. 500,000 people came out into the streets of Montreal today to join the Global #ClimateStrike They’… https://t.co/PVcj5ersgH— 350 dot org (@350 dot org)1569613884.0
Leading the Montreal strike were 15 indigenous and 15 non-indigenous delegates holding a banner by Anishinaabe artist Rachel Thusky Cloutier, which read, "Au front pour la Mère Terre, To the front lines for Mother Earth," CBC News reported.
In total, 800,000 people participated all over Canada, according to 350.org. Canada's climate strikers are calling for an end to new fossil fuel infrastructure and subsidies, BBC News reported. That means cancelling the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, which has the support of both Canada's Liberal and Conservative political parties. Strikers also want the country to commit to reducing emissions by 75 percent of 2005 levels by 2030.
The organizers behind the global climate strikes now intend to build on the past week's success. The next UN Climate Summit will take place in Chile in December, and organizers there say they will continue fighting until governments take meaningful action to reduce emissions and phase out fossil fuels."Today in Chile we marched from Arica to Punta Arenas, where people of all ages, organizations and institutions gave their voice, a voice that bravely rises to ask politicians of the world for no more double speeches and more actions that seek the 'good living', or as they say in my community, the küme mongen," Fridays for Future Chile organizer Joel Enrique Panichine, who identifies as a member of the Mapuche people, told 350.org.
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By Brett Wilkins
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the meatpacking industry worked together to downplay and disregard risks to worker health during the Covid-19 pandemic, as shown in documents published Monday by Public Citizen and American Oversight.
<div id="13077" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="11b9fe5ff48ebc437353df6df9c2c892"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1305915938148147205" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Just a week before the Trump administration issued an executive order aimed at keeping meat packing plants open, th… https://t.co/DkbXgPm4YR</div> — ProPublica (@ProPublica)<a href="https://twitter.com/propublica/statuses/1305915938148147205">1600189597.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="36e4c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e7c8048c2755109629a3b3072fcb3261"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1304424041814593539" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Meatpacking union @UFCW, which reps workers at this plant (four of whom died), slams OSHA for the small $13k fine a… https://t.co/tnhfKd89ab</div> — Dave Jamieson (@Dave Jamieson)<a href="https://twitter.com/jamieson/statuses/1304424041814593539">1599833901.0</a></blockquote></div><p>The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, which represents Smithfield Foods workers, <a href="https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/crime/2020/09/10/osha-fines-smithfield-foods-sioux-falls-south-dakota/5768786002/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=f7bf3f03-ce98-4df4-9c45-f44d9a6a5890" target="_blank">slammed</a> the fine as "insulting and a slap on the wrist."</p><p>"How much is the health, safety, and life of an essential worker worth? Based on the actions of the Trump administration, clearly not much," said UFCW president Marc Perrone.</p><p>"This so-called 'fine' is a slap on the wrist for Smithfield, and a slap in the face of the thousands of American meatpacking workers who have been putting their lives on the line to help feed America since the beginning of this pandemic," Perrone added. </p><p>Other critics, including vegans, vegetarians, and animal rights and environmental advocates argued that the accelerated spread of Covid-19 from meatpacking facilities is but the latest compelling argument in favor of reducing—or eliminating—meat consumption.</p><p>"We know that Covid-19 originated in a meat market and that previous influenza viruses originated in pigs and chickens," People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) <a href="https://www.peta.org/blog/meat-shortage-slaugherhouses-go-vegan/" target="_blank">said</a> in April amid news that a Foster Farms slaughterhouse in Livingston, California was <a href="https://www.peta.org/blog/coronavirus-covid-19-slaughterhouse-meat-concerns/?utm_source=PETA::Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=0420::veg::PETA::Twitter::Workers%20Blame%20Major%20Pig%20Slaughterhouse%20600%20Infected%20COVID-19::::tweet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ordered closed</a> by local health authorities due to a Covid-19 outbreak that killed eight employees.</p>
<div id="28490" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="48ddd3480a2beb42597d9516ef652f0f"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1252416495990140929" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! @SmithfieldFoods allegedly took NO PRECAUTIONS to protect the safety of its workers, leaving o… https://t.co/viAJ026pLy</div> — PETA (@PETA)<a href="https://twitter.com/peta/statuses/1252416495990140929">1587434336.0</a></blockquote></div><p>"It's not a matter of <em>whether</em> using and killing animals for food will give rise to another disease outbreak—it's a matter of <em>when</em>," said PETA. "There has never been a better, more obvious time for businesses to put an end to their dirty trade of slaughtering animals for their flesh." </p>
By Andrea Willige
More than half of the world's population lives in cities, and most future population growth is predicted to happen in urban areas. But the concentration of large numbers of people and the ecosystems built around their lives has also been a driver of climate change.