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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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GUESTS
  • Vic Barrett, Afro-indigenous climate activist.

  • Varshini Prakash, co-founder and executive director of the Sunrise Movement.

As many as 4 million people around the world took to the streets Friday in the largest day of action focused on the climate crisis. Students across the globe led climate strikes in hundreds of countries, inspired by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. The demonstration kicked off in Foley Square, where tens of thousands of people gathered before the march. Varshini Prakash, co-founder and executive director of the Sunrise Movement, and climate activist Vic Barrett were among the handful of activists who addressed the climate strikers in Foley Square.

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AMY GOODMAN: As many as 4 million people took to the streets around the world Friday in the largest day of action focused on the climate crisis. Students across the globe participated in a climate strike inspired by the 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Just over a year ago, Greta began skipping classes to protest in front of the Swedish parliament, demanding action to prevent catastrophic climate change. Her protest inspired millions around the world. On Friday, she joined the climate strike in New York City ahead of today's U.N. Climate Action Summit.

Later in the show, we'll hear Greta in her own words, but first we turn to more voices from Friday's protests. We begin with Varshini Prakash, co-founder and executive director of the Sunrise Movement, and climate activist Vic Barrett addressing climate strikers in Foley Square as the march began.

VIC BARRETT: Vic Barrett niri bai. Garifuna nuguya. Vic Barrett is my name. I am Garifuna. My people are an Afro-indigenous community from the island of Saint Vincent in the Caribbean. Despite overwhelming adversity, we organized our community and emancipated ourselves from colonization. My ancestors did this to protect the children to come. I am one of those children.

But the struggle continues for me and my people. Again we are being pushed from the lands which we settled, the lands that my family has inhabited for generations. That land will be underwater in a few decades if we continue on the path we are on.

I was born into a world in which my future is being stolen from me, born into a world in which my past already was, born into a world where everything that I am is slipping into the sea, born into a world where my people face extinction.

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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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