The School Strike for Climate Change is scheduled to take place for the first time in the United States in New York City on March 15. Originally started by vegan teen activist Greta Thunberg (pictured), the campaign urges students to walk out of classes to encourage world leaders to make meaningful commitments to fight climate change. The US-based arm of the protest is the work of 13-year-old student activist Alexandria Villasenor, who has personally protested climate-change inaction in front of the UN office every Friday. Villasenor decided to take action after witnessing climate-related events such as the California wildfires. Politicians have criticized young climate activists for skipping classes in favor of protesting for climate action, to which Villasenor responded, “If we’re not going to have a future, then school won’t matter anymore.” Villasenor partnered with climate-advocacy group This is Zero Hour to organize the event—which is expected to have support from other groups, including 365, Extinction Rebellion, and The Sunrise Movement. Villasenor’s protest has already garnered interest from student groups in Australia and Europe (where ongoing protests are already in place), with students expected to participate in Thailand and Uganda, as well. “If everyone gets involved, then more ideas can circulate around,” Villasenor told Gizmodo. “It will have to be a group project of the whole world.”

Photo credit: Greta Thunberg/Facebook

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