Around 100,000 people gathered in London on Friday to attend the Global Climate Strike. It marked the biggest environmental protest in history, as millions of people across the world called for governments to take more decisive action against the growing climate crisis.
Those under the age of 18 were leading the demonstrations, with the action forming part of the ongoing school strikes started by Greta Thunberg last August. The teen activist began protesting outside Swedish parliament every Friday, urging the government to do something about the climate emergency. “Change is coming whether they like it or not,” Thunberg said to crowds in New York, “Do you think they hear us?”
Dazed joined the action in the UK capital to speak to some of the inspirational youth showing the adults how it’s done. One of these people was 14-year-old Max, who said: “Go out and fight for your future, because you’d fight for your life if you had to. By doing nothing, by sitting at home and watching the news, you’re not actually participating. If we come out on the streets – if we block the streets – then I think we’re showing them what we actually think.”
Also striking was 18-year-old Nick, who took the government to task for their role in allowing corporations to detrimentally exacerbate the climate emergency. “Companies will always exploit what they can to make as much money as they can, so it’s the laws that need to be changed,” he said. “That’s why we’re outside the government, not outside the BP headquarters.”
The strike came just one day before the UN climate summit, where Thunberg gave an impassioned speech to world leaders, emotionally telling them: “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.” The 16-year-old was subsequently mocked by Donald Trump – who she rightly scowled at when their paths crossed – who described her as “a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future”. Today though, in absolutely huge behaviour, Thunberg turned the tables on the childish president by adding his ‘insult’ to her Twitter bio.
Galvanised by activists like Thunberg, the young people Dazed spoke to on Friday shared their frustrations with the lack of urgency from lawmakers, corporations, and governments, and eloquently demonstrated their clear understanding and determined passion for the cause.
Meet some of these remarkable protesters in our short film below.