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Photos: kids in 120 countries went on strike to protect the climate

An estimated 1.4 million young people in 120 countries skipped school Friday to demand stronger climate policies in what may be one of the largest environmental protests in history.

“This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice,” wrote the Swedish activist and strike leader Greta Thunberg with other young climate activists in the Guardian Friday. “We knew there was a climate crisis ... We knew, because everything we read and watched screamed out to us that something was very wrong.”

Greta Thunberg speaks a strike outside of the Swedish parliament house, Riksdagen, in Stockholm, Sweden, on March 15.
Greta Thunberg speaks a strike outside of the Swedish parliament house in Stockholm on March 15.
Michael Campanella/Getty Images

Thunberg, 16, began skipping school to strike in front of Sweden’s parliament in August. Soon students in other countries began to follow her lead in what became the Fridays for Future movement.

As her media presence has grown, Thunberg has become the voice of youth exasperation with policymakers’ failure to take steps to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions in the face of catastrophic climate change. “Our house is on fire,” she said in a January speech at Davos. “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.”

What Thunberg and her fellow protesters want from governments now is to “keep fossil fuels in the ground, phase out subsidies for dirty energy production, seriously invest in renewables and start asking difficult questions about how we structure our economies and who is set to win and who is set to lose,” as they put it in the Guardian. And they have the backing of thousands of scientists who’ve signed letters of support.

Strikes are also expected Friday in more than 100 US cities, and have been organized in large part by three girls: Alexandria Villasenor, Haven Coleman, and Isra Hirsi, daughter of the headline-making first-term Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

Here are some of the best photos and video we’ve seen of the strikes in the United States and around the world so far. This post will be updated throughout the day.

Sydney, Australia

Seoul, South Korea

Delhi, India

San Francisco, California

London, England

Schoolchildren gather around Queen Victoria Memorial at Buckingham Palace as they take part in a student climate protest on March 15, 2019 in London, England. Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Cape Town, South Africa

Students in Cape Town, South Africa take part in a protest, Friday, March 15, 2019 as part of a global student strike against government inaction on climate change. Nasief Manie/AP

Washington, DC

Lisbon, Portugal

Prague, Czech Republic

Dublin, Ireland

Young activist holds ‘Human Change Not Climate Change’ sign during a rally for climate in Dublin, Ireland. NurPhoto via Getty Images
Young activists during a rally for climate, in Dublin, Ireland. NurPhoto via Getty Images

Stockholm, Sweden

Students participate in a strike outside of the Swedish parliament house, Riksdagen, in order to raise awareness for global climate change on March 15, 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden. Michael Campanella/Getty Images

Taipei, Taiwan

Quezon City, Philippines

Dresden, Germany

Participants of a “Fridays for Future” demonstration in Saxony, Dresden. Robert Michael/picture alliance via Getty Images

Frankfurt, Germany

Zurich, Switzerland

Tokyo, Japan

Edinburgh, Scotland

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