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"This Is Our Time. This Is Our Future." Voices from the Historic Youth Climate Strike in NYC

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Indigenous lands all over our planet are being flooded, poisoned and destroyed. My black brothers and sisters are being gunned down by police. Migrant children are dying at the border. Trans folks are being murdered. Violence is in the air that we breathe, the spectacular violence of the police on marginalized people and the slow violence of dispossession and disenfranchisement on those same communities.

Some would think that there's no more room for destruction. But I think that all of us here know that, for decades, our government and governments around the world have consciously put policies in place that have caused the climate crisis that we find ourselves in, an emerging crisis threatening my generation with untold violence.

But this is an old story, right? A story that we're tired of hearing, right? That is why we're here. We're here to write a new story, a story in which our country is doing everything in its power to address not only the climate crisis, but the systemic injustices at its roots; a story in which our constitutional right to a safe climate is recognized by the highest courts; a story in which the most vulnerable people are given the greatest protections; a story in which indigenous peoples are empowered to protect our homelands.

In 2030, the history books will show that faced with imminent destruction, people on the frontlines fought back; that young people rose up around the world to demand immediate action; that starting on this day, September 20th, 2019, everything began to change. The momentum became unstoppable. Billions of people joined the next Global Climate Strike. The United States Supreme Court enshrined our constitutional right to a stable climate. And politicians around the world found the political will to fight for meaningful reforms to ensure justice for their people.

But let me tell you guys, those history books won't write themselves. So I want you to repeat after me: This is our time.

CROWD: This is our time.

VIC BARRETT: This is our future.

CROWD: This is our future.

VIC BARRETT: And I will do

CROWD: And I will do

VIC BARRETT: whatever it takes

CROWD: whatever it takes

VIC BARRETT: to protect our rights,

CROWD: to protect our rights,

VIC BARRETT: to protect our planet

CROWD: to protect our planet

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Democracy Now!  is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. Pioneering the largest public media collaboration in the U.S., Democracy Now! is broadcast on (more...)
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