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‘School Strike for Climate’: Swedish Teen Climate Activist Leads Protest Near United Nations

Greta Thunberg became a celebrity last year by playing hooky to encourage Swedish politicians to pay attention to what she calls 'a war on nature.'

Associated Press

Updated:August 31, 2019, 10:33 AM IST
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‘School Strike for Climate’: Swedish Teen Climate Activist Leads Protest Near United Nations
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New York: Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg drew crowds on land Friday after her two-week sail across the Atlantic as the 16-year-old Swede led a protest march in front of the United Nations.

Hundreds of activists, many of them teenagers, surrounded her outside U.N. headquarters, chanting, "Fossil lobbyists have got to go" and, "It's too hot!" — referring to global warming. Another chant went: "The seas are rising, and so are we!"

It was the New York edition of her weekly Fridays For Future, the student school strikes she has inspired in about 100 cities worldwide.

She became a celebrity last year by playing hooky to encourage Swedish politicians to pay attention to what she calls "a war on nature."

Next month, she is to speak at the U.N. Climate Change Summit. She'll join world leaders who will present plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The youthful protesters, with a sprinkling of older ones, gathered on Friday morning opposite the U.N. under a peace obelisk in Ralph Bunche Park.

When Thunberg arrived, she slipped behind her supporters, allowing them to be highlighted by a media horde.

She clutched a sign that read, in Swedish, "School strike for climate" — the same one she carried from the trans-Atlantic racing yacht after docking with a crew that brought her from Plymouth, England.

The teen had refused to fly to avoid a plane's carbon emissions. The boat's onboard electronics are powered by solar panels and underwater turbines.

The group marched a half dozen blocks to Dag Hammarskjold Park, where they sat on the pavement for a moment of silence, some standing against a fence filled with greenery, hands held up in peace signs.

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