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Vancouver activists hope world-wide environmental protests force politicians to take action

Last Updated Sep 20, 2019 at 1:56 pm PDT

FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 13, 2019 file photo, young climate activists march with signs during a rally near the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

People are rallying around the world to bring attention to climate change

This global movement was sparked by 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Thousands of people are taking to the streets all over the world, demanding action from world leaders on climate change.

Events are planned for the next week, including here at home, where an estimated 10,000 people will be marching next Friday. And on Sept. 20, protesters are staging a die-in at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

While critics may say protesting won’t make change, local activists believe as the global climate movement grows, politicians will be forced to do something.

Thomas Davies with Climate Convergence Metro Vancouver says doing nothing isn’t an option.

“We don’t have time to leave it and to hope for things to get better. So what we need is massive participation by people, and governments to follow suit,” he says. “If we don’t do anything we’re definitely going to lose, so we might as well do as much as we can and have the opportunity to win as well.”

He points to other movements over the decades that have sparked change, like protests calling for peace during the Vietnam War.

“People mobilized for over 10 years and were able finally to help stop that war,” he says. “They faced the same questions of people saying ‘this isn’t really going to do anything.'”

This global movement was sparked by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg, who herself has said she is surprised by how much it has taken off.

Sven Biggs with Stand.earth says these large protects are hard to ignore.

“We need to make leaders fear students and activists and their political power more than the influence and money of Big Oil.”