Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg joined thousands of environmental activists who have been protesting inaction against climate change at four major landmarks in London — Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus, Parliament Square, and Marble Arch — this weekend.
The 16-year-old activist joined participants of the “Extinction Rebellion” movement who have been jamming roads and diverting buses with their protests for more than a week.
Addressing the cheering crowd gathered at Marble Arch on Sunday, Thunberg said: "For way too long the politicians and people in power have got away with not doing anything at all to fight the climate crisis and ecological crisis. But we will make sure they will not get away with it any longer."
Thunberg, whose advocacy efforts sparked a worldwide movement known as Fridays for Future, started her own environmental advocacy journey by staging solo protests outside the Swedish Parliament every Friday. She would skip school on Fridays to protest Sweden’s failure to keep up with the targets of the Paris climate agreement and since then, has become the face of the youth movement to combat climate change.
"Humanity is standing at a crossroads [and protesters] will never stop fighting for this planet," the teenager told the crowd.
The current protests in London started on April 15 as part of the Extinction Rebellion. Since then, 963 people have been arrested and 42 charged for various offenses including obstructing the highway and the police.
“We’re calling an emergency on the climate and ecological crisis and the criminal inaction of our government for not acting on this emergency,” protester Sophie Cowen recently told Global Citizen.
“We’re going to stay here until the UK government comes to the table and meets our demand,” she said.
The protesters have three core demands of their government: to tell the truth about climate change and communicate the urgent need for action; to enact legal policies that bring down net carbon emissions to zero by 2025; and for a citizens’ assembly to oversee these changes.
“We are the ones making a difference, we the people in this Extinction Rebellion and the children’s school strike for the climate,” Thunberg remarked. “It shouldn’t be like that, but since no one else is doing anything, we will have to do so.”