“GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE:” PREVIEW

September 19, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Tomorrow, students all over the city and around the world will be walking out of school to participate in the Global Climate Strike. We have the details from one of the leading organizers.

Aired on September 19, 2019. 

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>>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO
"METROFOCUS" I'M RAFAEL PI
ROMAN.
GRETA THUNBERG WILL BE THOSE
LEADING THE CLIMATE STRIKE,
WHERE YOUNG PEOPLE WILL BE
WALKING OUT OF SCHOOLS AND ON TO
THE STREETS TO PROTEST IN ACTION
ON CLIMATE CHANGE IN
ANTICIPATION OF THE UNITED
NATIONS CLIMATE ACTION SUMMIT ON
MONDAY.
NEW YORK CITY IS GIVING PUBLIC
SCHOOL STUDENTS PERMISSION TO
SKIP CLASSES FOR THE STRIKE, AND
THAT MEANS THAT 1.1 MILLION CITY
KIDS COULD POTENTIALLY BE
PARTICIPATING IN THIS
UNPRECEDENTED EVENT.
A NUMBER OF CELEBRITIES
INCLUDING JADEN AND WILLOW SMITH
ARE PLANNING TO JOIN THEM.
PART OF OUR ONGOING INITIATIVE,
PERIL IN PROMISE, THE
16-YEAR-OLD NATALIE SWEET,
COHEAD OF ZERO NYC, A STUDENT
RUN ORGANIZATION LOOKING TO
COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE.
WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>> CAN YOU GIVE ME A HISTORY ON
WHAT'S HAPPENING TOMORROW AND
HOW IT BECAME A PHENOMENON.
>> STUDENTS DO STRIKE IN FRONT
O.UN AND ACROSS THE WORLD EVERY
SINGLE FRIDAY.
THAT'S PART OF THE FRIDAYS FOR
FUTURE MOVEMENT.
A BUNCH OF THE ORGANIZES ARE
PART OF FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE, SO
THIS STRIKE ISN'T UNUSUAL TO
THEM.
I HAVE BEEN AMONG THOSE STRIKING
AT THE UN.
I MISSED THE STRIKE LAST FRIDAY
BUT I WAS STRIKING THE FRIDAY
BEFORE THAT WITH GRETA.
THE REASON WE CHOSE SEPTEMBER
20th TO MAKE IT A BIG
MOBILIZATION DATE IS BECAUSE
THERE WILL BE MANY PEOPLE
ALREADY ENGAGED WITH THE CLIMATE
CONSIDERING THAT THE UN YOUTH
ACTIVIST SUMMIT IS THE NEXT DAY,
AND THE UN CLIMATE WEEK WILL BE
FOLLOWING SO IN NEW YORK CITY,
THERE WILL BE A LOT OF
INTERNATIONAL YOUTH WHO ARE
COMING TO THE SUMMIT SO WE WANT
TO MAKE IT A CHANCE FOR THEM TO
MOBILIZE AND MAKE SURE THEIR
VOICES ARE HEARD BEFORE
ATTENDING THIS MONUMENTAL
SUMMIT.
>> SO, YOU KNOW, WHAT ARE SOME
OF THE OTHER COUNTRIES BEYOND
NEW YORK THAT ARE PARTICIPATING
IN THIS?
>> WELL, SWEDEN IS
PARTICIPATING, THAT'S GRETA'S
HOME COUNTRY AND WE HAVE STRIKES
IN CHINA, INDIA, THERE ARE OVER
150 STRIKE LOCATIONS AND I THINK
THAT WAS WHEN WE FIRST STARTED,
NOW THERE ARE OVER 750 STRIKE
LOCATIONS ACROSS THE WORLD.
THAT'S AMAZING, WE HAVE NEVER
SEEN A CLIMATE MOBILIZATION LIKE
THIS BEFORE.
>> IS THIS STRICTLY LIMITED TO
YOUNG PEOPLE OR ARE ADULTS
INVITED.
>> ADULTS ARE INVITED TO THE
PARTY BUT IT IS THE YOUNG PEOPLE
MOVEMENT.
YOUNG PEOPLE WILL BE AFFECTED BY
CLIMATE CHANGE, AND WE WANT OUR
ADULT ALLIES TO STAND WITH US
AND CERTAINLY TO VOTE WITH US.
THAT'S SOMETHING THAT MYSELF,
I'M ONLY 16, I CAN'T DO THAT,
AND I KNOW A LOT OF US ARE IN
THE SAME BOAT.
IT IS A YOUTH LED MOVEMENT AND
IN NEW YORK, WE'RE ACTUALLY
PRIORITIZING HAVING THE YOUTH
SPEAK AND BE AT THE FRONT OF THE
MARCH BUT WE ARE SO INCREDIBLY
GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE ADULT
ALLIES, FROM CLIMATE NEXUS 350.
>> WHO ARE SOME OF THESE PEOPLE
AND SOME OF THOSE ORGANIZATIONS,
WE WERE TALKING ABOUT IT JUST
BEFORE THE CAMERAS TURNED ON.
>> GREEN PIECE IS ONE OF THE
CLIMATE ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE
BEEN SUPPORTING US WITH THIS, AS
WELL AS 360 AND CLIMATE NEXUS
AND PEOPLE'S CLIMATE MOVEMENT
AND THERE ARE ORGANIZATIONS THAT
AREN'T NECESSARILY CLIMATE
ORGANIZATIONS BUT THEY HAVE BEEN
PROACTIVE ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND
SUPPORTING US, SOME THAT KIND TO
MIND ARE PATAGONIA, LUSH, THE
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY COMPANY, AS
WELL AS TUMBLER AND WORD PRESS.
>> AND THERE ARE WORKERS FROM
AMAZON AND GOOGLE I THINK THAT
ARE ACTUALLY, THEY'RE NOT
ALLOWED, THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE
GIVEN THE TIME OFF.
THEY'RE JUST GOING OUT.
THOUSANDS.
>> THERE ARE OVER A THOUSAND
WORKERS FROM AMAZON, GOOGLE, AND
I THINK MICROSOFT IS THE OTHER
COMPANY THAT WILL BE MOVING TO
STRIKE, AND THEY WILL BE JOINING
THE NEW YORK CITY STRIKE, AND
WE'RE REALLY HELP TO HAVE THESE
ALLIES WITH US.
IT'S HONESTLY IMPORTANT TO SEE
WORKERS LEAVING THEIR WORKPLACE
FOR THE CLIMATE.
>> WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS
FIGHT?
>> WELL, I GOT INVOLVED MY
FRESHMAN YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL
WHEN I ATTENDED A SMALL LOCAL
CLIMATE CONFERENCE AND THAT'S
WHEN I FIRST FOUND OUT ABOUT
ZERO HOUR.
SO
ZERO HOUR WAS IN THE PLANNING
STAGES.
I WAS NEVER INTERESTED IN
CLIMATE ACTIVISM BEFORE BUT THE
WILDFIRES WERE THAT YEAR, AND MY
COUSINS WHO LIVE IN CALIFORNIA,
THEIR SCHOOLS WERE ACTIVELY SHUT
DOWN BECAUSE OF THE SMOKE IN THE
AIR.
MY FRIEND ALEXANDRIA VILLA SENOR
WHO IS A CLIMATE ACTIVIST, THE
THIRD TO START AFTER GRETA, HAD
TO MOVE FROM DAVIS, CALIFORNIA,
BECAUSE OF THESE FIRES, SO I CAN
SEE THE EFFECT THAT THEY HAD ON
MY FAMILY AND MY FRIENDS AND I
WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT I COULD
HELP THEM OUT AND DO WHAT I CAN
BECAUSE I LIVE IN A PRETTY
PRIVILEGED COMMUNITY OF NEW YORK
CITY, AND HONESTLY, I DON'T HAVE
THE EXPOSURE THAT A LOT OF OTHER
PEOPLE DO, SO I JOINED SZERO HOR
TO SEE HOW I CAN MAKE A
DIFFERENCE AND HOW OTHERS CAN DO
THE SAME.
>> HOW REPRESENTATIVE ARE YOU OF
YOUR CLASSMATES AND PEERS, DO
MOST YOUNG PEOPLE AGREE WITH
YOU?
>> MOST YOUNG PEOPLE DO.
ONE OF MY CLASSMATES SAID WHAT
IS THE PURPOSE OF STRIKING AND
HONESTLY I FEEL THAT TO BE
ABSURD BECAUSE I DEMANDED ACTION
FROM OUR LEADERS BY ACTIVELY
DISRUPTING THE SCHOOL DAY, BUT
ALSO BECAUSE THIS IS GOING TO BE
OUR ISSUE THAT AFFECTS US THE
MOST.
EVERYONE IS GOING TO SUFFER
BECAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE
INEVITABLY IF WE DON'T DO
SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
THE SCIENCE SAYS THAT.
ONE OF OUR CORE CHEERS IS UNITE
BEHIND THE SCIENCE.
IF MY PEERS AREN'T UNITING
BEHIND THE SCIENCE, I WANT TO DO
FRG I CAN TO INCITE THEM TO
ACTION, TO INCITE THEM TO
REALIZE, WE'RE HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENTS, I'M IN YOUR PHYSICS
CLASS, WE KNOW ABOUT THE
SCIENCE.
>> BESIDES INCITING YOUR PIERCE
TO ACTION, WHAT ARE THE GOALS
THAT YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE THROUGH
THIS GLOBAL STRIKE?
>> WELL, GENERALLY THE MISSION
IS TO CALL OUR WORLD LEADERS TO
ACTION.
DESPITE THE FACT THAT THERE'S A
UN CONFERENCE, THE UNITED STATES
SPECIFICALLY HAS BEEN INACTIVE
ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE EPA IS
ACTUALLY ROLLING BACK ON SOME OF
THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE SEEN
THAT HAVE BEEN GOOD FOR THE
CLIMATE.
OUR EPA STEPPED OUT OF THE PARIS
CLIMATE ACCORD, THAT WAS A BIG
STEP BACKWARDS, WE ARE DEMANDING
GENERAL ACTION BUT THERE ARE
MORE SPECIFIC GOALS ON OUR WEB
SITES, STRIKE WITH US.ORG AND
GLOBAL CLIMATE.NET, SOME ARE
ACCEPTING A GREEN NEW DEAL SO
100% DIVESTMENT FROM THE FOSSIL
FUEL INDUSTRY BY 2030, AS WELL
AS PROTECTING INDIGENOUS AND
FRONT LINE COMMUNITIES AND
PROTECTING BIODIVERSITY AS WE
CAN SEE IT BEING DESTROYED IN
THE AMAZON WILDFIRES AND OTHER
PLACES.
>> ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC THAT WHAT
YOU BELIEVE NEEDS TO BE DONE
WILL BE DONE IN TIME?
>> I AM OPTIMISTIC.
I SEE THIS MOVEMENT OF YOUTH
THAT STARTED FROM A COUPLE OF
STUDENTS STRIKING ALL THE WAY TO
AN ESTIMATED OVER 100,000
STUDENTS JOINING THIS MOVEMENT
ON THE NEW YORK CITY STREETS AND
THAT'S ONLY ONE CITY.
THERE ARE 750 OTHER STRIKE
LOCATIONS THAT WILL BE TAKING
PLACE AND TO SEE THIS
MOBILIZATION GIVES ME HOPE.
>> NATALIE, THANK YOU SO MUCH
FOR JOINING ME TODAY.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
SUCH AN IMPORTANT ISSUE, THANK

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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