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Climate strikes: Students in 123 countries take part in marches

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By Euronews with Reuters
Youths demonstrate for climate change in Berlin, 15 March 2019
Youths demonstrate for climate change in Berlin, 15 March 2019   -   Copyright  REUTERS   -  

From Bangkok to Berlin, thousands of school students from 123 countries and over 2,000 cities all over the world go on strike against government inaction on climate change this Friday.

The marches are part of a worldwide student movement, which started in August 2018 when 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg began protesting outside her parliament on school days.

Euronews' #TheCube explored where students are taking part in climate strikes during a Facebook live.

The strikes have gained prominence and visibility in recent months across Europe, culminating with Thunberg's nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize earlier this week.

In Europe, students packed streets and squares in cities including Copenhagen, Rome, Vienna, and Lisbon.

In London, thousands of students marched from Parliament Square to Trafalgar Square holding banners that read: "The future is in our hands" and "We're missing lessons to teach you one".

More than 220 demonstrations were held across Germany. In Duesseldorf, more than 2,000 schoolchildren marched with a carnival float depicting a giant effigy of Thunberg with the words "Do something about the climate catastrophe at last," written along her raised arms.

"The clock is ticking and time is against us," they shouted. "We are the last generation that can fix this."

One boy said: "We'll have more hurricanes, we'll have rising sea levels...Future generations won't be able to build a time machine and come back here to remind politicians."

Student protesters blocked the French bank Societe Generale's headquarters near Paris on Friday morning.

REUTERS/Charles Platiau
Students block the headquarters of French bank Societe Generale as part of a "youth strike against climate change", La Defense near Paris, France, March 15, 2019REUTERS/Charles Platiau

More marches were planned throughout Europe and the United States later on Friday, while Asia and Oceania will also lead protests.

“Climate change is worse than Voldemort,” read one student’s handmade sign in Wellington, New Zealand, referring to the evil wizard in the hugely popular Harry Potter books and films. “The oceans are rising, so are we,” read another banner in Sydney.

“If we don’t do something, it’ll be our lives affected, not the 60-year-old politicians,” said Sydney student Callum Frith, 15, who was wearing his school uniform. “We need action.”

Around 60 students protested outside Thailand’s government house in Bangkok, holding cardboard signs to campaign against plastic waste.