Protesters listen to speeches at the climate strike Friday at Maffeo Sutton Park in Nanaimo. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Grown-ups mock children because world view threatened: Thunberg

Activist Greta Thunberg responded to attacks on campaign as students take part in global protests

Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg said Friday she doesn’t understand why grown-ups and world leaders would mock children and teens for acting on science, responding to attacks on her campaign as students conducted a second wave of global protests demanding action on climate change.

When asked about U.S. President Donald Trump and others who have mocked her, the 16-year-old activist said they likely feel their world view and interests are being threatened by climate activism.

“We’ve become too loud for people to handle so people want to silence us,” she said at a rally in Montreal after meeting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “We should also take that as a compliment.”

The youth climate movement has drawn criticism from some who accuse the students of overreacting and say they would be better off going to school. In an apparent sarcastic jibe at Thunberg this week following her haranguing of world leaders, Trump tweeted: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”

Instead of addressing Trump by name, she said Friday that she didn’t “understand why grown-ups would choose to mock children and teenagers for just communicating and acting on the science when they could do something good instead.”

Thousands later chanted “Greta! Greta!” as she spoke at an afternoon rally in Montreal.

“We will do everything in our power to stop this crisis from getting worse even if that means skipping school or work,” she said. “The people have spoken. And we will continue to speak until our leaders listen and act. We are the change and change is coming.”

Her comments came as students in Italy symbolically torched a replica of planet Earth, one of many protests as part of the climate strikes sparked by the Swedish teen. Some participants echoed the anger she expressed this week at a U.N. summit in New York.

WATCH: Teens gather en masse across Canada to demand drastic climate action

“How dare you!” read one banner at a rally in Italy’s financial hub of Milan, where tens of thousands took to the streets and later gathered around a giant globe to watch it go up in flames.

More than 100,000 people also rallied in Rome, where protesters held up signs with slogans such as “Change the system, not the climate” or just the word “Future.”

Fears about the impact of global warming on younger generation s drew fresh protests in India, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands and Bolivia a week after hundreds of thousands rallied worldwide ahead of the U.N. summit.

In New Zealand, students marched on Parliament in Wellington, staging one of the largest protests ever held in that capital.

In Berlin, activists from the Fridays for Future group braved persistent rain to denounce a package of measures that the German government recently agreed on to cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Experts say the proposal falls far short of what’s needed if the world’s sixth-biggest emitter is to meet the goals of the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord.

Actor Javier Bardem joined dozens of young people in San Sebastian in one of several rallies held across Spain on Friday morning ahead of evening demonstrations in major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona. Bardem was promoting a documentary he worked on with Greenpeace.

In Austria, organizers said 150,000 people participated, while local APA news agency said the number was 65,000.

In Poland, protesters blocked traffic in downtown Warsaw by chaining themselves to a tent. Police and firefighters tried to negotiate with them.

In Buenos Aires, where school strikes inspired by Thunberg have taken place since March, several thousand people marched from the famed Plaza de Mayo to the Congress. Protests occurred elsewhere in Latin America, including in Chile and Bolivia.

Protesters even rallied on Chile’s Easter Island, known for its massive statues known as moai.

In Canada, Thunberg met Trudeau, who praised her activism on climate change.

“She is the voice of a generation, of young people who are calling on their leaders to do more and do better,” Trudeau said. “And I am listening.”

Trudeau, who is in the middle of an election campaign, announced a plan to plant 2 billion trees over the next decade.

Thunberg, however, indicated that she expects more, even of leaders who welcome the movement. Scientists this week issued new dire warnings about the consequences of rising temperatures on the world’s oceans and cold regions.

Thunberg told a crowd in Montreal it was moving to see people of all generations so passionate for a cause.

“He (Trudeau) is of course obviously not doing enough, but this is just a huge problem, this is a system that is wrong,” she said. “My message to all the politicians is the same: Just listen and act on the science.”

Rob Gillies And Frank Jordans, The Associated Press

 

Two strikes were held on Sept. 20 and 27, as the UN emergency climate summit took place on Sept. 23. Madelaine Picard joined both the protests happening in Prince Rupert and plans to come back as often as she can for Fridays for Future. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

Just Posted

This week in photos | The spirit of giving comes to Haida Gwaii

Masset Lions Telethon, Queen Charlotte’s annual craft fair, Fields store coming along in Skidegate

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

Masset residents receiving extra incentive to get home safe this holiday season

Masset RCMP, B.C. Liquor Store and local elementary schools team up to curb drinking and driving

Former Burns Lake mayor gets two years for sexual assaults against minors

Banned from taking work involving young people for five years

Prince Rupert man who killed foster parents in 2017 receives three-year sentence

A Prince Rupert man convicted in the deaths of his foster parents… Continue reading

VIDEO: MPs reflect on anti-feminist violence on 30th anniversary of Montreal massacre

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at Ecole polytechnique on the evening of Dec. 6, 1989

B.C. Transit scores 28 used fareboxes on eBay, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

Gitga’at and LNG Canada announce new Marine Emergency Response and Research Facility in Hartley Bay

LNG Canada providing financial support as committed in 2014 Impact Mitigation and Benefit Agreement

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

Most Read