Greta Tunberg warned world leaders that “she does not intend to be silent when the world is engulfed in fire.”
The 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl, founder of the Friday for the Future movement and icon of the global eco-protest, Greta Thunberg, took part in the Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate, BYS4C, which took place on February 28 in the English city of Bristol. 15 thousand supporters greeted her with shouts of “Greta! Greta!”
Speaking to like-minded people, she accused politicians around the world of ignoring the climate crisis. And she warned: “Change is us. And change will come whether you want it or not.”
“The protest works, so I tell you: go ahead,” she said. “Those in power are betraying us.”
Even the bad weather did not frighten Bristol climate defenders: according to police estimates, 15 thousand people gathered in the rain to take part in the rally. The organizers call another figure – up to 30 thousand.
Initially, Greta Thunberg was supposed to take part in a climate rally in London, but then she decided to change plans and go to an event in Bristol, since the space allocated for the rally in the capital was too close for her many supporters.
“Our leaders behave like children. And therefore, becoming adults becomes our task. They are trying to stop us, but we will not back down!” Greta said to the crowd.
“We should tell the uncomfortable truth. They sweep their trash under the rug and want the children to clean up after them. This dangerous situation is completely ignored by politicians, the media and other people in power. In general, nothing is done to stop this crisis – despite everything beautiful words and promises from the politicians we have chosen. What will you do at such a crucial moment? I will not be silent when the world is on fire, “said the Swedish activist.
After the performance, Greta led the march and carried a green banner with the inscription Skolstrejk for Klimatet through the streets of Bristol – in Swedish it means “School strike for the climate”. Protesters of all ages followed her. There were adults in the column, but mainly schoolchildren and students with posters and banners came to this event. Many of them missed their studies to take part in this rally.
BBC correspondent Steve Mellen says that the protesters began to approach the scene from dawn, and by the time Greta Tunberg appeared, an impressive crowd had already gathered: by 11.45 an apple had nowhere to fall on Bristol Square College Green. People climbed onto balconies and tiptoed on the steps of the church. Greta was greeted with hot cries, she was periodically forced to pause in her speech, since she could not shout out the crowd that agreed with her.
Police and municipal authorities warned the city that traffic in the center on this day could be difficult.
Two years ago, Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg started skipping school on Fridays to picket the national parliament in Stockholm. She immediately gained numerous supporters, and within a few months this action grew into an international environmental movement. Greta herself became the face of this movement and the most famous eco-activist in the world.