Italian students join global climate change protests

Italian students protest climate change across the country

ROME - In over 1,000 cities across the world, 208 of which in are Italy, millions of young people have taken to the streets as part of an international “climate strike,”calling on leaders to face their responsibilities and protesting against the lack of government action against climate change.

 Thousands of students filled squares all over Italy Friday morning for the Global Strike for the Future, the general strike for the planet launched by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, which has become a symbol of the fight against climate change.

“Politicians know the truth about climate change and nevertheless have surrendered our future to the profiteers, whose desire for quick money threatens our existence,” declared Thunberg.

 The countries with the most protestors are Italy and France, with young people gathering to voice “We are here because we want a future.” Banners were raised high inscribed with phrases of protest including “No time left” and "Why should we study for a future when there will not be any?"

 In Rome, a procession of some 6,000 students in support of Thunberg’s international student strike for climate change, “Fridays for Future,” left the Colosseum and travelled along Via dei Fori Imperiali, arriving at the side of the Altare della Patria.

 Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wrote on Facebook that “climate change is a crucial challenge for the safeguarding the future of our planet. Heads of State and the government not only have the moral obligation to listen to the cries of alarm being raised today from every corner of the world, they must also take concrete steps. Apathy would be an unforgivable, historic sin.”

 Conte added “we still have a long way to go,” but that “the presence of thousands of young people in the streets gives us more stimulus to move forward.”

 In Milan, between 30,000 and 40,000 have gathered at the procession in Piazza Duomo. Another 10,000 people have gathered in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence.