Students Around The World Skip School Today to Protest Climate Change

The Youth Climate Strike was inspired by the Parkland MSD students’ #NeverAgain movement against gun violence after the mass shooting at their school.

Friday thousands of young climate change activists in at least 71 countries will skip school in what may be one of the biggest environmental protests in history #FridaysForFuture movement.

“We are the voiceless future of humanity,” activists wrote in a letter published March 1 by the Guardian. “Now we will make our voices heard. On 15 March, we will protest on every continent.”

The strikes kicked off last year with one Swedish girl protesting outside Swedish Parliament, and already students in the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Uganda, Thailand, Colombia, and Poland have followed her lead, playing hooky to demand stronger action on climate change from their governments.

The movement has now spread to the United States, where March 15 strikes are planned in more than 100 cities, organized under the leadership of three girls: Alexandria Villasenor, Haven Coleman, and Isra Hirsi, daughter of the headline-making first-term Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). Omar tweeted she will attend the strike in Washington, DC, on Friday.

This wave of youth activism began with 16-year-old Greta Thunberg from Sweden, who last August began camping outside the Swedish parliament and accused lawmakers of failing to uphold their commitments to fight climate change as agreed to under the Paris climate accord.