Fridays For Future is a rapidly growing movement of young people determined to protect their future and provoke change. Read on to learn about the movement and how to join it.
The Fridays For Future movement began in August 2018 when Swedish student Greta Thunberg started to protest daily outside the Riksdag, the country’s central government building. The then-15-year-old skipped school every day for three weeks preceding the Swedish election, demanding change for the sake of the planet and her generation’s future.
Since then, young people worldwide have demanded change from their governments and leaders. Millions of youths are joining the Fridays For Future movement, and demonstrations continue to spread across the US and around the world.
Fridays For Future USA
Fridays For Future USA was founded in January 2019 and, being so young, has some catching up to do with its European counterpart. However, the organization is growing quickly and already making an impact. In 2019 – when Greta Thunberg visited the US – coordinated protests involving over a million students took place in cities across the country.
Thunberg chose to sail to North America in a yacht instead of flying to minimize her carbon emissions. While visiting, she attended the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit and generated widespread publicity for the growing movement. Now well established, Fridays For Future USA does not operate from a central headquarters. Instead, it comprises several local groups that align with the organization’s collective demands, values and ethics.
These smaller units stage organized protests and campaigns all over the country to raise awareness of issues affecting marginalized communities and climate protection. Fridays For Future ultimately wants to educate, inspire and engender change that will benefit the future of humankind, local communities and the planet.
Fridays For Future: National Demands
Every Friday, all around the world, young members of Fridays For Future protest, demanding and pleading with authorities to take action on climate change. They ask that the people in power follow the Paris Agreement and that leaders take heed of scientific evidence and act on it. The organization’s central demands include that governments and authorities:
- Declare a climate emergency and align action accordingly.
- Financially and consciously invest in sustainable local economies.
- Instill the values of coexistence of society and the natural world.
- Implement climate change science as a topic in the national education curriculum.
- Abandon colonialism and imperialism.
Why Is the Fridays For Future Movement Growing?
Fridays For Future members describe themselves as young people fighting for their right to a liveable future. They highlight that their generation did not create this crisis but will feel the brunt of its impacts. Emerging research indicates they have valid reasons for concern.
Pew Research Center has been measuring public attitudes on key issues and documenting differences in those attitudes across demographic and generational groups for decades. Those born from 1997 onwards are considered part of a new generation called Generation Z – the oldest of which are now in their early to mid-twenties.
Research shows that a large proportion of this generation suffers from climate-related anxiety. During their short lifetimes, they have witnessed a record-breaking number of extreme weather catastrophes – like hurricanes, flooding and wildfires.
Unfortunately, these extreme trends are projected to become even more frequent if we do not implement immediate change. Therefore, climate protection has become a primary goal of younger generations.
How To Get Involved With Fridays For Future
If you want to become an active member of the Fridays For Future movement, find out more about joining climate strike workshops in your area. If none exist and you are interested in starting a local group, click here. You can also sign up for press releases, or donate.
For more information:
- What is Environmental Racism? A Definition and How to Fight It
- Human-Environment Interaction: Definition & Examples
- Conserving Energy: 10 Ways to Save Electricity
- 10 Must-Watch Environmental Documentaries
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