Kristina Marusic/EHN

Pittsburgh students go on strike to join international day of climate action

"Seeing that our elected officials aren't taking action ... is what brought me here today."

PITTSBURGH—More than a hundred Pittsburgh-area students went on strike today, skipping school to participate in an international day of protests to demand action on climate change.


The students, who ranged in age from preschool to college, lined the steps of City Hall holding signs bearing messages like, "The oceans are rising and so are we," "Green new deal now," and "There is no planet B."

Pittsburgh student climate strikeKristina Marusic/EHN

Students were joined by supportive adults—some parents, caretakers and grandparents, and some environmental activists—but children and teens led the event, bringing young speakers to the center of the group one by one, and passing around the bullhorn to take turns leading chants between speeches.

The event was one of thousands of sister events held around the world today in cities from Sydney, Seoul, and Kiev to Paris, Berlin and New York. The student strike in Philadelphia took place at the same time as the Pittsburgh event.

"When I realized there wasn't a strike planned for Pittsburgh today, I realized I had to do something about it," 16-year-old Ryleigh Murphy, a high school sophomore who coordinated the strike, told EHN. "So I started emailing schools and I emailed the mayor, who gave me his support, and it turned out so much bigger than I thought it was going to be."

Pittsburgh student strike for climate action www.youtube.com

The students expressed anger at older generations for not taking better care of the planet, expressed their fears about the fate of humanity if climate change continues unchecked, and urged politicians to take more urgent action.

"We only have 11 years left to transformatively change the ways we use energy before Earth faces catastrophic, irreversible consequences," Paul Kim, a 17-year-old student from Pittsburgh's Taylor Allderdice High School, told EHN. "Seeing that our elected officials aren't taking action, and that fossil fuel companies have long known about this, but haven't taken any action to stop it, is what brought me here today."

Here's what the student strike looked and sounded like in Pittsburgh:

Student strike for climate action in PittsburghKristina Marusic/EHN

Student strike for climate action in Pittsburgh youtu.be

Pittsburgh student strike for climate action www.youtube.com

Student strike for climate action in PittsburghKristina Marusic/EHN

Student strike for climate action in PittsburghKristina Marusic/EHN

Pittsburgh student strike for climate action youtu.be

Student strike for climate action in PittsburghKristina Marusic/EHN

Student strike for climate action in PittsburghKristina Marusic/EHN

Student strike for climate action in PittsburghKristina Marusic/EHN

Student strike for climate action in Pittsburgh youtu.be

Student strike for climate action in PittsburghKristina Marusic/EHN

Student strike for climate action in Pittsburgh youtu.be

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