Hundreds of thousands of people, including several thousand young people, have been flooding streets across Canada on Friday as part of worldwide climate change protests.
Greta Thunberg, a young environmental activist from Sweden, is in Montreal to participate in what is expected to be the largest demonstration in the country. In her speech at the demonstration, Thunberg said an estimated 6.6 million participated in the protests around the world this Friday and on Sept. 20. She tweeted that there are 500,000 people participating in the march in Montreal.
“We have been told so many times that there’s not point in doing it, that we won’t have an impact anyway…but I think we have proven that to be wrong by now,” Thunberg said. “The climate and ecological crisis is beyond party politics.”
The 16-year-old said politicians around the globe have created “insufficient plans” to tackle this “emergency” and she plans to keep pushing forward and demanding change.
“If the people in power won’t take their responsibility then we will. It should not be up to us but somebody needs to do it,” Thunberg said. “They say we shouldn’t worry, that we should look forward to a bright future but they forget that if they had done their job we wouldn’t need to worry.”
The young activist quickly gained international attention after U.S. President Donald Trump mocked her on Twitter.
“Of course, I don’t know, I don’t understand why grownups would choose to mock children and teenagers for just communicating and acting on the science,” Thunberg said in a press conference in Montreal on Friday.
“They must feel like their world view…is threatened by us and that we should take as a compliment.”
Thunberg also met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as she continues to demand urgent action to fight climate change. She is urging politicians around the world to listen to her message and to “act on science.”
Trudeau, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Party leader Elizabeth May will be participating in the protests, but Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is not taking part in the demonstrations.
While Trudeau was marching with participants in Montreal, including his wife and children, a man tried to lunge at him, which resulted in the man being tackled by security and subsequently arrested.