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Activists gather in John Marshall Park for the Global Climate Strike protests in Washington, DC, on September 20, 2019. | Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Americans skipped school and work to send a message.

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.


Millions of people across the world — from Pakistan to Iceland — went on strike Friday in the largest-ever global demonstration to fight climate change. Around noon, Americans began to walk out of work and school, too.

“Strike today, save tomorrow,” read one banner in the Washington, DC, march. “College debt means nothing when the world is burning,” read a sign in Indianapolis.

Inspired by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, young people in over 150 countries organized the strikes in an effort to push world leaders to move away from fossil fuels.

Adults joined them.

More than 2,000 Amazon and Google employees walked out of work Friday in solidarity with the movement. Amazon workers, in particular, have been pressuring the company to do more to reduce its carbon footprint.

Here is what the protests looked like here in the US:

Washington, DC

At the Global Climate Strike on the mall in Washington, DC, signs read, “Keep the oil in the soil and the coal in the hole,” and, “System change not climate change.”Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
Students gather and march during the Global Climate Strike in Washington, DC.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez squats down to give a high five to a couple of students at the Global Climate Strike in Washington, DCBill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), high-fives climate-striking students Evelyn Seek (center) and Pema Duncan, in front of the US Capitol building.

Portland, Maine

A protester holds a polar bear-shaped sign during a climate strike rally outside City Hall in Portland, Maine. The bear’s orange jacket reads, “Government-issued life vest.”Robert F. Bukaty/AP
A protester holds a polar bear sign during a climate strike rally outside City Hall in Portland, Maine.

Chicago, Illinois

Protesters for the Global Climate Strike hold signs that read, “Climate change strikes hard, we stroke harder,” and, “Clean energy for all.”Charles Rex Arbogast/AP
Protesters rally on the Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago, Illinois.
Protesters fill a street in downtown Chicago for the Global Climate Strike.Charles Rex Arbogast/AP
Thousands of protesters take over Dearborn Street in downtown Chicago.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Protesters for the Global Climate Strike hold signs that read, “Stop climate meltdown,” “You can’t reset this clock,” and, “We are skipping our lessons to teach you one.”Darron Cummings/AP
Students gather on the steps of the statehouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.

San Francisco, California

Protesters for the Global Climate Strike hold signs that read, “Google do better,” and, “Climate action now.”Eric Risberg/AP
Google employees march out of their offices to join others in a climate strike rally at City Hall in San Francisco, California.

New York City, New York

Global Climate Strike protesters fill a New York City street with signs that read, “Your ignorance is our future,” and, “Forest rebellion now.”Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images
Thousands of youths march during the Global Climate Strike in New York City .
Global Climate Strike protesters speak into bullhorns.Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Young activists rally for action on climate change in New York City.
A Global Climate Strike protester holds up a sign that reads, “Don’t burn my future.”Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
Students hold up signs at Foley Square in New York City.

Austin, Texas

A protester in a dinosaur costume at the Global Climate Strike holds a sign that reads, “Y’all bout to go extinct like me!”Eric Gay/AP
Students gather for a climate strike rally at the Texas capitol in Austin, Texas.

Author: Alexia Fernández Campbell

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