• Sannah van Balen

Global Climate Strike - NYC, 20/09/'19

On Friday, 20th of September, climate strikes took place all over the world – a truly global event initiated by Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future movement. In New York City alone, 1.1 million students were excused from school in order to participate in the strike.


I arrived a day early to the UN Young Climate Summit, taking place on Saturday that same week, and had a chance to participate. I marched alongside climate activists young and old in the streets of NYC. Even though I had seen pictures of similar marches, such as the women’s march, I was unprepared for the emotional effect it would have on me.


In situations where I don't agree with something, my go-to strategy is to rationalize, thereby eliminating the emotion, and start a conversation. I worried that the one-directional communication that strikes and marches offer would feel too angry to me.


Little did I know, I was up for a shock. Feelings of fear, hurt, love and hope were ingredients to the emotional cocktail I experienced. At different points during the march each of these feelings crept up and came out through a chant, a hug or even just a nod of understanding. I never knew the emotional power this movement could hold.


The pictures below will hopefully give you an idea of the march. I highly recommend joining the next climate action march in your town; the human unity it creates can feel magical.


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