PHOTOS: Climate change protests around the globe

Cypriot students and families take part in a protest against climate change in the Cypriot capital Nicosia on September 20, 2019. (Photo: Iakovos Hatzistavrou/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — A wave of climate change protests swept the globe Friday, with hundreds of thousands of young people sending a message to leaders headed for a U.N. summit: The warming world can't wait for action.

Marches, rallies and demonstrations were held from Canberra to Kabul and Cape Town to New York and German police reported that more than 100,000 turned out in Berlin.

"Global Climate Strike" events ranged from about two dozen activists in Seoul using LED flashlights to send Morse code messages calling for action to rescue the earth to Australia demonstrations that organizers estimated were the country's largest protests since the Iraq War began in 2003.

An environmental activist, wearing a "Pikachu" costume, displays a placard along with other activists during a rally to coincide with the global protests on climate change Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at the University of Philippines campus in suburban Quezon city northeast of Manila, Philippines. (Photo: Bullit Marquez/AP)

"Basically, our earth is dying, and if we don't do something about it, we die," said A.J. Conermann, a 15-year old high school sophomore among several thousand who marched to the Capitol building in Washington.

"I want to grow up. I want to have a future," Conermann added.

In New York, where public schools excused students with parental permission, tens of thousands of mostly young people marched through lower Manhattan.

"Sorry I can't clean my room, I'm busy saving the world," one protester's sign declared.

And in Paris, teenagers and kids as young as 10 traded classrooms for the streets. Marie-Lou Sahai, 15, skipped school because "the only way to make people listen is to protest."

Climate protesters demonstrate in London, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Protesters around the world joined rallies on Friday as a day of worldwide demonstrations calling for action against climate change began ahead of a U.N. summit in New York. (Photo: Frank Augstein/AP)

The demonstrations were partly inspired by the activism of Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who has staged weekly "Fridays for Future" demonstrations for a year, urging world leaders to step up efforts against climate change.

"It's such a victory," Thunberg told The Associated Press in an interview in New York. "I would never have predicted or believed that this was going to happen, and so fast — and only in 15 months."

Thunberg is expected to participate in a U.N. Youth Climate Summit on Saturday and speak at the U.N. Climate Action Summit with global leaders on Monday.

"They have this opportunity to do something, and they should take that," she said. "And otherwise, they should feel ashamed."


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Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, center, takes part during the Climate Strike, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 in New York.  (Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP)
An environmental activist holds a placard during a rally outside the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to coincide with the global protests on climate change Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 at suburban Quezon city northeast of Manila, Philippines. (Photo: Bullit Marquez/AP)
Student demonstrators and thousands of environmentalist gather holding banners on a demonstration during Climate Strike to draw the attention of global warming and climate change, in Melbourne, Australia on September 20, 2019. (Photo: Recep Sakar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Young activists and their supporters rally for action on climate change on September 20, 2019 in New York City. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Emily Hill and her daughter Josephine Hill, 6, of Bellevue, Neb.,listen to speakers during a youth climate strike week action in Omaha, Neb., Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo: Nati Harnik/AP)
Students gather for a climate strike rally at the Texas capitol, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Austin, Texas. (Photo: Eric Gay/AP)
Around a thousand protesters march to demand action on climate change, in the streets of downtown Nairobi, Kenya Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Protesters around the world joined rallies on Friday as a day of worldwide demonstrations calling for action against climate change began ahead of a U.N. summit in New York. (Photo: Ben Curtis/AP)
young people attend a Climate Strike rally, as Afghan security forces guard them in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019.In the Afghan capital Kabul, where people are dying every day in horrific bomb attacks, a young generation, worried that if war doesn't kill them climate change will, took part in the global climate strike. (Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
A girl holds a banner during climate change demonstration in Zagreb, Croatia, September 20, 2019. (Photo: Antonio Bronic/Reuters)
Environmental activists hold placards during a rally outside the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to coincide with the global protests on climate change Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 at suburban Quezon city northeast of Manila, Philippines. (Photo: Bullit Marquez/AP)
Protesters on a gallow standing on ice are pictured within the worldwide movement 'Fridays for Future' near the Brandenburg Gate on September 20, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images)
A girl wearing a polar bear costume joins a protest at the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Several hundreds of protestors gathered in response to a day of worldwide demonstrations calling for action to guard against climate change. (Photo: Petr David Josek/AP)
A young protester shouts slogans with others in front of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in New Delhi, India, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. The protestors gathered in response to a day of worldwide demonstrations calling for action to guard against climate change began ahead a U.N. summit in New York. (Photo: Manish Swarup/AP)
A protester wears an orangutan mask with writings that read "Are you going to wait for me to become extinct to save me?" during a climate change rally in Jakarta, Indonesia Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Hundreds of protestors gathered in response to a day of worldwide demonstrations calling for action to guard against climate change. (Photo: Achmad Ibrahim/AP)
Thai people take part in a "die-in", where strikers lie on the ground and pretend to die, symbolising the impact of climate change in front of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on September 20, 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo: Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images)
Climate protesters demonstrate in Athens, Greece, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)
A climate protester holds up her placard as she takes part in a demonstration near Parliament square in London, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo: Alastair Grant/AP)
Youths gather at Nation square at the start of a climate demonstration Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 in Paris. (Photo: Francois Mori/AP)
Thousands of school students participate in a Climate strike rally on September 20, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Protesters march during the "Fridays for Future" a rally against climate change as part of a Global Climate action day in Johannesburg on September 20, 2019. (Photo: Michele Spatari/AFP/Getty Images)
Hundreds of young environmental activists campaigning against the climate crisis in Jakarta on September 20, 2019. (Photo: Aditya Irawan/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A man wearing the traditional dress of the Solomon Islands march on September 20, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)
A placard reads "The Amazon is not burning - it is being burnt" during the Global Climate Strike of the movement Fridays for Future in Berlin, Germany, September 20, 2019. (Photo: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)
Participants gather at United Nations University prior to Global Climate Strike on September 20, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo: Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images)
People take part in the Global Climate Strike of the movement Fridays for Future, in Munich, Germany, September 20, 2019. The slogan on the sticker reads: "could have, would have, wanted, do it!". (Photo: Michael Dalder/Reuters)
Young activists march as part of the Global Climate Strike of the movement Fridays for Future, in Cape Town, South Africa September 20, 2019. (Photo: Mike Hutchings/Reuters)
Climate protesters hold a banner bearing the images of world leaders as they demonstrate in London, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo: Frank Augstein/AP)
Climate protesters demonstrate outside the parliament house in Helsinki, Finland, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (Photos: Emmi Korhonen/Lehtikuva via AP)
An environmental activist holds a sign as he takes part in the Climate strike protest calling for action on climate change, in Nairobi, Kenya, September 20, 2019. (Photo: Baz Ratner/Reuters)
Young activists march as part of the Global Climate Strike of the movement Fridays for Future, in Cape Town, South Africa September 20, 2019. (Photo: Mike Hutchings/Reuters)
Young activists stage a performance during an environmental demonstration, part of the Global Climate Strike, in Warsaw, Poland September 20, 2019. (Photo: Maciek Jazwiecki/Agencja Gazeta via Reuters)
Young activists take part in an environmental demonstration, part of the Global Climate Strike, in Krakow, Poland September 20, 2019. (Photo: Jakub Wlodek/Agencja Gazeta via Reuters)
Young activists take part in an environmental demonstration, part of the Global Climate Strike, in Krakow, Poland September 20, 2019. (Photo: Jakub Wlodek/Agencja Gazeta via Reuters)
Protesters hold a placard depicting Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg as they take part in the Fridays for Future climate change action protest in Paris, France, September 20, 2019. (Photo: Charles Platiau/Reuters)

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