A wave of climate change protests swept the globe Friday, with hundreds of thousands of young people sending a message to leaders headed for a UN summit: The warming world can't wait for action. Marches, rallies, and demonstrations were held from Canberra to Kabul and Cape Town to New York, per the AP. The "Global Climate Strike" events ranged from a gathering of about two dozen activists in Seoul using LED flashlights to send Morse code messages to Australia demonstrations that organizers estimated were the country's largest protests since the Iraq War began in 2003. "Basically, our earth is dying, and if we don't do something about it, we die," said AJ Conermann, a 15-year-old high school sophomore among several thousand of young people who marched to the Capitol building in Washington.
In New York, where public schools excused students with parental permission, tens of thousands of mostly young people rallied and marched through lower Manhattan. "Sorry I can't clean my room, I'm busy saving the world," one sign declared. And in Paris, teenagers and kids as young as 10 traded classrooms for the streets. Marie-Lou Sahai, 15, skipped school because "the only way to make people listen is to protest." The protests were partly inspired by the activism of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who has staged weekly "Fridays for Future" demonstrations for a year, urging world leaders to step up efforts against climate change. "It's such a victory," Thunberg told the AP in an interview in New York. "I would never have predicted or believed that this was going to happen, and so fast—and only in 15 months."
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