In the leadup to the UN Climate Summit, Fridays for Future shows the power of teen activism

Will teens and their parent activists save the world from the climate crisis?

Teens are ruling the world. Just last week, the world watched youth activists march the streets and pour their hearts out during #FridaysforFuture. In a reported 1400 rallies in 80 countries, swaths of teens from the US to Pakistan ditched their usual Friday plans to urge for immediate action on the climate crisis. Perfectly timed tactic no less than in the leadup to COP26, a UN climate summit of world leaders dropping this November in Scotland.

While we have Greta Thunberg (only 15 at the time) to thank for leading the OG strike in Sweden, FridaysforFuture now has a life of its own. This year’s global strike went off with a particular bang, and not just for being the first one back after COVID-19 put a kibosh on in-person protests.

It’s not just teens raging against the machine

Parent climate activists have jumped onboard. A mom from Parents for Future Columbia declared, “All parents need to unite to guarantee the young generation’s future. In Latin America, we have to defend the Amazon, our natural reserves and water. I’m concerned about my kids and your kids’ future and this is why we are joining young climate activists.”

Smells like teen spirit, and…

#UprootTheSystem. We can’t tackle climate change without centering the rights of indigenous people, whose lands are being decimated by the fossil fuel industry. And teens know this well, as the strike’s hashtag makes clear. “Without listening to MAPA (most affected people and areas), embracing intersectionality, and uprooting this system, we have no hope of stopping the climate crisis,” says the Fridays for Future website.

Apparently, we should get used to this. Whether it’s #FridaysforFuture or March For Our Lives, teens are not stopping anytime soon. They know their power, and they should use it…safely. How to have convos with your kids about their next (or first ever) passionate march? We thought you might ask.

Written by Tiffany Wen

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