Three days before the UN Climate Summit in NYC, thousands of demonstrators marched from Boston’s City Hall to the Massachusetts State House in participation of the Global Climate Strike on Friday.
Inspired by sixteen-year-old Greta Thurnberg, who led the movement from NYC’s Friday rally, the strike marked the beginning of a week of climate action. Similar strikes occurred across the globe with the intention of demanding the world’s governments address the climate crisis. Led by youth climate strikers, people were encouraged to demonstrate walk-outs at school and work in order to join the marches.
Companies such as Ben & Jerry’s and Lush Cosmetics disrupted their business as usual for several hours and encouraged employees to take part in their local strikes. Patagonia and Burton shut down both their online and physical locations to take part in the movement. Seventh Generation donated their airtime to environmental nonprofits to bring awareness to the need for swift climate action.
The strikers’ demands are that the government adopt the Green New Deal, transforming our economy into 100% renewable energy by 2030 and ceasing fossil fuel extraction in an equitable way by generating millions of new jobs. They also demand for the respect of indigenous land and sovereignty, protection and restoration of biodiversity, and implementation of sustainable agriculture. In addition, demonstrators asked that environmental justice be shown to those who have been displaced by the climate crisis.
Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu and former head of Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy were among the speakers for the event. Councilor Wu expressed how important the climate strike was and how urgent the climate crisis has become.
The organizers demanded that Governor Charlie Baker “declare a climate emergency now.” The thousands gathered on City Hall Plaza before marching through the streets to the Massachusetts State House where demonstrators entered the building to make a statement.
Young climate strikers across the globe joined in on the climate strikes, uniting on an issue that they believe will impact them the most in the years to come. Scenes like the one found in Boston on Friday afternoon could be found in other major cities like New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.
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