Naomi Klein interviews Greta Thunberg ahead of the September 20th Global Climate Strike in this 9-minute video.
The Intercept: Greta Thunberg is one of the great truth-tellers of this or any time. But Greta is not all talk. All of this began with action. It began when Greta realized that if she wanted powerful politicians to put themselves on emergency footing to fight climate change, then she needed to reflect that state of emergency in her own life. And so she stopped doing the one thing all kids are supposed to do when everything is normal: Go to school to prepare for their future as adults.
Instead, she stationed herself outside of Sweden’s parliament with a handmade sign that said simply: “School Strike for the Climate.” She started doing it every Friday, and pretty soon she attracted a small crowd. Then other students started doing it in other cities as well.
Students like Alexandria Villaseñor, who stations herself outside the United Nations in this city every Friday, week after week, rain, snow or shine. Sometimes the student climate strikes were just one lonely kid. Sometimes tens of thousands showed up.
And then, on March 15, came the first Global School Strike for Climate. Over 2,000 strikes in 125 countries, with 1.6 million young people participating on a single day. 1.6 million people. That’s quite an achievement for a movement that began just eight months earlier with a single 15-year-old girl in Stockholm, Sweden.
And now this movement is gearing up for its biggest challenge yet: They have called on people of all ages to join them and go on strike, all around the world, on September 20. Because protecting the future is not a spectator sport.
Thunberg and the many other amazing young organizers have been very clear that they do not want adults to pat them on the head and thank them for the hope infusion. They want us to join them and fight for the future alongside them. Because it is their right. And all of our duty.