Campaigners stage climate protests across continents

People stay in front of the Brandenburg Gate as they take part in a 'Fridays For Future' climate protest rally in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — Environmental campaigners staged protests on several continents on Friday to press their demands for more government action to curb global warming ahead of the upcoming U.N. climate summit in Glasgow.

Protesters rallied in Uganda, Bangladesh, India, Italy, Sweden and Germany to call for measures preventing dangerous global warming levels and taking into account the plight of the world’s poorest, who are particularly hard-hit by climate change.

Thousands of mostly young people rallied at Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate, carrying banners featuring slogans such as “Act now or swim later” and “Don’t melt our future.”

Many called on the next German government to place greater emphasis on tackling climate change, with some protesters attempting to blockade the offices of the three parties currently negotiating to form a coalition government.

Those parties include the center-left Social Democrats who came first in the Sept. 26 election ahead of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Union bloc.

The Union bloc is not part of those talks, though Merkel is expected to attend the U.N. climate talks next month in her role as head of a caretaker government.

In Stockholm, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg took part in the protest. Her weekly “school strike for climate” helped inspire the international protest movement that saw regular, vast demonstrations before restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic curtailed such rallies.

Thunberg said campaigners wanted to put pressure on leaders meeting in Glasgow next month to agree on tougher actions for tackling climate change.

“We are not going to let them get away with just talking and not doing anything and pretending the situation is under control,” she said.

Also at the Stockholm protest were activists from developing countries, who said the voices of people most affected by global warming need to be heard in the climate debate.

“It’s really just symbolic of how the youth, the global youth movement is coming together and uniting and coming together as one community fighting for the same thing,” said Mitzi Jonelle Tan, an activist from the Philippines.