Protesters gather on City Hall Plaza for the Boston Climate Strike. (Mario Jarjour/WBZ NewsRadio)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Students around the globe, including in Boston, protested on Friday to demand action for climate change.
Many students walked out of school for the Global Climate Strike, which comes ahead of next week’s United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York.
Thousands gathered in City Hall Plaza for the Boston Climate Strike.
"I think people need to stop burning fossil fuels and they need to take a stand and realize this is really bad," one young protester said.
Adults also joined the young participants at the protest.
"I believe that boomers, in part, have been in denial and dropping the ball, and thinking, 'Oh, this won't bother me. We'll be dead and buried by the time it might actually have an effect,' which is such a completely irresponsible attitude to take," one self-identified baby boomer said at the protest. "I think all of us, whatever age, need to get with the program."
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“Young people and adult allies in Massachusetts are joining the global call to action,” the strike’s website said. “We have 11 years to stop the climate crisis — help us tell our elected officials we demand justice.”
City Councilor At-Large Michelle Wu was among the speakers at the event.
"It's time to think big and to take action on the scale that matches our crisis," Wu told WBZ NewsRadio. "But most of all, it's realizing that we're going to pay for it one way or the other, whether it's on the front end... or waiting. Taking the least painful in the short term, but then having to pay massively for when our city is flooded, when we're trying to dig out of high-heat days, when people can't live in Boston comfortably anymore."
Afterward, protesters marched to the Massachusetts State House chanting, “Climate change has got to go.”
Organizers demanded lawmakers pass bills that would address “poverty and pollution,” end “fossil fuel infrastructure projects,” and declare a state of emergency.
Across the nation, protesters demanded for a “Green New Deal,” “respect of indigenous land and sovereignty,” “environment justice,” “protection and restoration of biodiversity,” and the “implementation of sustainable agriculture,” according to the strike’s organizers.
The strikes across the nation were inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, 16, according to the Associated Press. She is expected to speak at the U.N. Climate Action Summit.
Thunberg began the school strikes in August of last year, first by demonstrating outside of Sweden’s Parliament.