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Organized by activists at numerous locations, the demonstrations primarily saw school students walking out of classes, joined by adult climate activists.

The students, from elementary and high schools around the city, were part of a global event taking place in more than 100 countries, inspired by School Strike for Climate Change - a movement that Swedish 16-year-old Greta Thunberg began in August.

The day of action comes as members of the first generation to experience the consequences of climate change have been mounting increasingly urgent climate protests.

"The main goal of the youth is to embody the future, to inspire others to reach for a vision of what this future entails", said Anna Grace Hottinger, a Shoreview sophomore and state and national student climate organizer. At the end of January, nine protesters with the growing Extinction Rebellion movement were arrested at a "die-in" at Rockefeller Center.

A giant tombstone includes the message 'RIP Earth, ' in reference to the UN International Panel on Climate Change report, which concludes humanity has 12 years left to avoid catastrophic warming of 1.5 Celsius.

Here in New York City, students at dozens of schools across the five boroughs are striking to demand action. "We have been called the grassroots for a reason - step on us, we spring back up".

UPDATE 11:30: College students have taken the stairs at Columbia's Low Library, while a group of about 50 preteen activists are gathering right now at Washington Square Park.

He has said: "We must show the importance of this subject.and work towards concrete things that we can put forward, so that students themselves can get involved".

"I don't know of any climate striker that genuinely wants to miss school".

Thousands of students will join the strike in Australia, despite NSW education minister Rob Stokes' demand that they "turn up to school". "This is want all of the kids in the world want". But the initial turnout in the United States did not look quite as high.

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Portland-area students were planning to gather at Portland's City Hall at 1 p.m., while other students are doing local walkouts at their schools.

"There are a crisis in front of us that we have to live with, that we will have to live with for all our lives, our children, our grandchildren and all future generations", she said.

Another bluntly stated "We're running out of time".

"We'll have more hurricanes, we'll have rising sea levels", said one boy. Brigham Young University students are also set to participate. "We are not young and naive".

"Most of us are 16 to 17, and we are going to turn 18 soon".

"S$3 tudents are fighting like their world depends on it", former Vice President Al Gore said in a tweet extolling Haven Coleman, a 12-year-old listed as the US climate strike's co-founder and co-director.

"So I'm not quite sure why they think that it is a good idea".

French education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, has so far responded by saying that he would like to organise debates on climate change and environmental issues in every French lycée.

According to the MA group's Facebook page, strikers are calling for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, teamwork from world leaders to ensure global warming remains below 1.5 degrees Celsius, and implementation of the Green New Deal, a decadelong plan proposed by lawmakers.