Jan 02, 2020
The first #FridaysForFuture protests of the new year and decade coincided with the 17th birthday of Greta Thunberg, who joined fellow young climate action leaders at a demonstration outside Swedish Parliament.
Thunberg--who held the first climate strike by herself 72 weeks ago--returned Friday to the place where she first demanded policy-makers act immediately to stop the planet-warming extraction of fossil fuels, while people in cities around the globe held their own strikes.
\u201cThe first strike of the decade (week 72) was spent talking with many amazing activists (like @SumakHelena), doing warmup exercises (it\u2019s cold) and ignoring aggressive populist media (we don\u2019t want to feed the fires).\n#FridaysForFuture\u201d— Isabelle Axelsson (@Isabelle Axelsson) 1578072220
In Scotland, 14-year-old demonstrator Holly Gillibrand asked that all supporters of climate action commit to doing "whatever they can in 2020 to make a difference" as a new year of climate strikes began.
\u201cWeek 49. The first #schoolstrike4climate and #schoolstrike4nature of this decade. I ask that every person who reads this tweet does whatever they can in 2020 to make a difference. Environmental breakdown doesn't just affect environmentalist. #FridaysForFuture @GretaThunberg\u201d— Holly Gillibrand (@Holly Gillibrand) 1578059767
Strikers in countries including Uganda, Germany, and Australia also continued their months-long commitment to walking out of their classrooms every Friday to call for far more action from governments to tackle the climate crisis.
\u201cClimate Strike Sydney Australia\nWeek 17.\nOur country is literally on fire. People are dying, houses burning and flora and fauna being devastated. What will it take for world leaders to wake up and act?\n\n#FridaysForFuture @GretaThunberg @fff_Sydney #ClimateEmergency #ClimateStrike\u201d— Patsy Islam-Parsons (@Patsy Islam-Parsons) 1578019491
Some who attended climate strikes sent Thunberg birthday wishes, with one striker in Ireland tweeting that "climate action now" would be the best gift to give the activist.
\u201cClimate strike in Helsinki today! The weather was nicer than last week! Thank you all who came. It was so nice to meet strikers today from Germany and Estonia\ud83d\udc9a And happy birthday @GretaThunberg \ud83d\udc9a\ud83c\udf0d\ud83d\udc9a\n#FridaysForFuture #Climatestrike\u201d— Atte Ahokas \ud83c\uddeb\ud83c\uddee\ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udf0d (@Atte Ahokas \ud83c\uddeb\ud83c\uddee\ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udf0d) 1578052284
Musician Patti Smith wished Thunberg a happy birthday in a poem posted on Instagram, writing that as she turns 17, Thunberg is "asking for no accolade, no gifts, save we not be neutral."
Other supporters also thanked Thunberg for her "bravery" and for "trying to save the world" as "neocons try to destroy" it.
\u201cAs neocons try to destroy our world, there's at least one person who's trying to save it.\n\nHappy birthday @GretaThunberg -- you're our hero! \u270a\u201d— Emma Vigeland (@Emma Vigeland) 1578077832
\u201cHappy birthday, @GretaThunberg! Our house is on fire, and instead of just enjoying your teenage years, you are doing everything in your power to put it out. \n\nThank you for inspiring us every day \ud83c\udf2c\ud83c\udf82\ud83d\udd25\ud83c\udf0d #FridaysForFuture #climatestrike\u201d— EARTHDAY.ORG (@EARTHDAY.ORG) 1578061523
Thunberg thanked supporters for their birthday wishes Friday on Twitter--with her name showing up as "Sharon," a reference to an actress who had called Thunberg by the name the previous night on the British show "Celebrity Mastermind."
Last month, Thunberg changed her biography on Twitter as a send-up of President Donald Trump's remark that the climate leader "must work on her anger management problem."
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