Thousands, many of them school-age, marched through the streets of central Tel Aviv on Friday, September 27, holding aloft signs decrying the dangers of global warming. At a certain point, dozens of teenagers lay down on the ground in a symbolic display of the fate of humanity due to the climate crisis.
The participants in the demonstration gathered at the coastal city’s Great Synagogue on Allenby Street and marched from there up Rothschild Boulevard to Habima Square. Among the protesters were activists from Hadash, the Communist Party of Israel and Young Communist Guard. A broad coalition of organizations protested in Tel Aviv, with young people heavily represented — one of the defining features of the ongoing wave of international climate strikes.
The demonstrators demanded that the Israeli government declare a climate emergency. The aim of such a move would be to compel the state’s various branches to immediately take measures to reduce their contribution to global warming. During the past year, such a climate emergency has already been declared in the UK, Ireland, France and Canada.
Marchers chanted numerous slogans throughout the protest, including “A generation demands a future”; “The people demand climate justice”; and “Jews and Arabs fighting together for the climate.”
According to the British newspaper The Guardian, six million people took to the streets over the past week, uniting across time zones, cultures and generations in a demand for urgent action to ameliorate the escalating ecological emergency. On Friday, a new wave of climate strikes swept around the globe on Friday, with an estimated 2 million people walking out of schools and workplaces.
Organizers say that during the week of protests – that began with a global climate strike last week – a total of 6 million people, from trade unionists to schoolchildren, have taken part in thousands of towns and cities.
On Friday, there were huge protests in Italy – where more than 1 million people were reported to have taken part – Spain, the Netherlands and New Zealand, where more than 3.5% of the country’s population joined the demonstrations. Demonstrations also took place across Latin America, from Mexico City’s vast Zócalo square to the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires.