Up to 30,000 people gathered on Bristol’s College Green on Friday at a climate change rally lead by 17-year-old Greta Thunberg.
Named Times Person of the Year 2019, Sweden born Greta has been a leading figure in climate change over the past two years, encouraging millions of students to join protests across the world.
Laying into world leaders in her speech, she accused them of ‘acting like children’ and not doing enough to fight climate change, adding ‘we are being betrayed by those in power… I will not be silenced while the world is on fire.’
With thousands flocking to Bristol’s College Green (shown above), many took to social media to point out the damage caused to the grass.
However, this was soon squashed as one user pointed out “grass will grow back. Our Ozone layer, Icecaps, Coral reefs, Australian Bush and the Amazon Rainforest will not.”
Since winning a competition for her essay on climate change in her local newspaper back in May 2018, Thunberg began to miss school to protest in front of the Swedish parliament building every Friday. With her protests going viral on social media and the hashtag #FridaysForFuture spreading across the world, Greta soon became one of the most recognised faces in climate change activism.
Watch Greta Thunberg deliver a short yet powerful speech before the rally in Bristol below
The full speech:
“This is an emergency. People are already suffering and dying from the consequences of the climate and environmental emergency but it will get worse.
Still this emergency is being completely ignored by politicians, the media and those in power.
Basically, nothing is being done to halt this crisis despite all the beautiful words and promises for the elected officials.
So what did we do during this crucial time? What we will do right now? Well I will not stand aside and watch, I will not be silenced while the world is on fire – will you?
World leaders are behaving like children, so it falls on us to be the adults in the room.
Just look at Bristol as an example.
The other week, the plans to expand Bristol Airport were cancelled – a lot thanks to climate activists.
And of course this is far from enough, but it shows that it does actually make a difference.
Activism works. So I’m telling you to act.
If you look throughout history, all the great changes have come from the people.
We are being betrayed by the people in power and they are failing us but we will not back down.
If you feel threatened by that, then I have some very bad news for you – we will not be silenced because we are the change and change is coming whether you like it or not.
Thank you and let’s march.”