Hundreds of young people, led by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, marched in Milan on Friday to demand rapid climate action, a month before the COP26 Conference of Parties in Glasgow is seen as crucial to the climate.
And the marches of the “Fridays for Future” movement, which brought large crowds of young people together in cities around the world, have been suspended for two years due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have to redirect attention to the big issue, which is the climate crisis,” 15-year-old Maria told AFP, who took part in the Milan rally.
“We are very happy to be back on the street,” added the Italian teenager.
A handful of dignitaries led the march, including Thunberg and Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakati.
Both were in Milan as part of the official UN gathering for the youth edition of COP26, to which 400 young people were invited.
“The world is waking up and change is coming whether you like it or not,” one banner read.
Also, banners reading “There is no planet B” and drawings of a sick planet Earth with a thermometer in his mouth, cartoon crying with the phrase “Save me.”
At the end of the rally, Thunberg gave a speech in which she reiterated her criticism of the leaders, who she says all speak and do not.
“We are tired of their lies and empty talk. The hope is us: the people.”
“We are the change! Let’s not stop to keep fighting,” she continued, as the crowd chanted her name.
“We will not be silenced,” said Nakati, speaking of storms, floods and droughts that have claimed lives across the African continent.
The march was organized as ministers from dozens of countries met in meetings to prepare for the Conference of the Parties to be held in Scotland.
© 2021 AFP