On 20 September, more than 4,000 climate strikes were held in nearly 140 countries, creating a global moment of people calling their governments and leaders to create systemic change that will reduce emissions and slow the pace of global warming. Pillared by an address from Greta Thunberg and ushering in the U.N. Climate Action Summit (23 September) and Climate Week NYC (24–30 September), the strike in lower Manhattan drew an estimated 250,000 people to the streets to rally around climate justice. Here’s what it looked like.
“I’m from an Indigenous group in Brazil. We feel the change coming. We don’t want other people to feel the same change we feel. And we don’t want the future to feel the way it feels now.” – Cris Pankararn
“I joined Extinction Rebellion because it’s a way for people to come together and make change. I’m vegan, and I’m studying engineering to make buildings cleaner for the environment. Being here today feels great. It’s amazing to see so many people out here.” – Trevor Green
“This is a campaign to save human nature, representing everybody, because we’re all the same. In addition to preserving the Earth, the animals and the plants, we should also preserve humans. Humans aren’t necessarily the problem – it’s rather our mindset and not following the right examples.” – Orlando Campbell
“All the fossil fuels in our products, our plastics, everything that comes out of our exhaust pipes. We live in a fossil fuel culture. We need radical transformation. I’m crying. What’s happening is so sad. But I’m glad we’re here.” – Billy Talen
“I’m nine months pregnant. I hope my baby can advocate change and have a government that supports that, because I can’t make decisions for her, or know what she’ll need to advocate for in 20 years. But I feel like she is fully aware of everything happening, so I felt it was important to be present here today.” – Natasha Halesworth
“I don’t understand how people can’t believe in climate change when it’s so obvious. I’ve known about it since second or third grade. We have to fight as hard as we can, otherwise in 30 years, it’s going to be devastating. I hope these strikes motivate people to change.” – Felix Griffin
“There’s always been a tradition of Jews being very concerned with the wellbeing of each other and humanity as a whole. A lot of our tenets are concerned with giving, and I think it’s our duty to say ‘never again’ to the issues we’ve faced and many other people are now facing.” – Jordan Youner