In the capital of Quebec, a historic mobilization mobilized hundreds of thousands of people alongside controversial environmental activist Greta Thunberg.
“We are changing the world,” young Swede Greta Thunberg said Friday after a giant demonstration in Montreal brought together hundreds of thousands of people in a new “global climate strike” “.
“We are at least 500,000,” said the muse of the fight against political inaction in the face of global warming. “You can be proud of yourself! She said, cheered by a crowd of many young people.
According to the organizers, the event brought together nearly half a million people , unprecedented in Quebec , and one of the largest events ever held in Canada. The police did not give official figures but she welcomed a “historic” mobilization that took place without major incidents.
“We are not in school today, you are not at work today, because there is urgency and we will not sit idly by,” continued the teenager, a few days later. his resounding “How dare you! Launched at a gathering of heads of state and government at the UN.
“This week, leaders from around the world gathered in New York. They disappointed us once again with their empty words and inadequate plans.”
Premier agrees with Greta Thunberg
While Canada is in the middle of an election campaign, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined the crowd after announcing new measures for the environment, as he has done almost every day since the beginning of the week. In the morning he had met the young Swedish environmental activist one-on-one.
A meeting that did not stop Greta Thunberg, 16, from scratching the Canadian government’s environmental policy. Like most world leaders, Mr Trudeau “does not do enough” for the planet, she said at a press briefing before the event.
Mr Trudeau said he “totally agreed” with her. “That’s exactly what we’re going to do,” he promised. In the process, he pledged to plant two billion trees over 10 years if he was re-elected on October 21st.
When asked about her criticism, young Greta said she sees it as a “compliment”. “Today we make too much noise and people have trouble managing so they try to silence us,” she said.
Disguised as a tree
In the crowd, where young people and families rubbed shoulders, Alexanne Lessard marched disguised as a tree, with green paint on her face and arms, false leaves in her hair.
“I am here for our future, to show our government that we are a majority to want to do something.”
Annabelle Vellend, 13, came from Sherbrooke, 150 km east of Montreal, with her father. “I really believe in Greta’s movement, she’s doing really good things, and she can encourage especially politicians to act for climate change in election time,” she says, before bursting into tears. perceiving his idol at the head of the procession.
By mingling with the demonstrators, Mr Trudeau, surrounded by his wife Sophie Grégoire and their children, took the risk of being challenged by the demonstrators on his environmental policy. One of them was savagely arrested and thrown to the ground by police while insulting the head of the government and threatening to throw eggs at him, according to CBC.
Trudeau has been heavily criticized for nationalizing the Trans Mountain pipeline, which brings oil from Alberta’s oil sands to the shores of British Columbia, much to the chagrin of environmental groups.
The procession of protesters symbolically ended its race a stone’s throw away from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). As a coincidence of the calendar, the leaders of civil aviation, regularly blamed by the environmental movement for their contribution to global carbon emissions, have been meeting since Tuesday and until October 4th for their triennial assembly on the same subject.
Greta Thunberg crossed the Atlantic on a sailboat to the United States and joined Montreal from New York in an electric car loaned by Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The previous Friday, more than four million young people (and adults) had mobilized around the world for a “Friday for future”. They were finally more than 6.6 million, said Friday Greta Thunberg.
A week later, the mobilization seemed to slow down a bit. In Italy, hundreds of thousands of young people marched across the country. Other events took place in Madrid, Zurich, Australia or the United States in particular. Argentina has recorded about twenty demonstrations, while the Chilean police counted 20,000 people in Santiago.
Greta Thunberg estimated that “several million people” had demonstrated around the world on this day.