“Thank you so much for coming today. It is an honor for me to stand next to you, today, together in this fight. And it is great to be in Los Angeles, in California, and I want to say a special thank you to the youth organizers in Los Angeles who made this possible.
We recognize we are on indigenous land. The village of LA is Yanga, the people were Yavatan, now they are often called Gabrelino-Tongva for the entire Los Angeles basin.
Earlier this week, I visited Paradise, California. And I met with survivors who showed me around the devastation. Street after street with no houses left. I heard heartbreaking stories. 18,000 buildings were destroyed, and at least 86 people died.
Today, in California, we can see the wildfires happening just around the corner, wildfires that are being intensified by the climate crisis. But it’s not just here. Everywhere around the world, we can see
these horrible environmental feedbacks that countless people are suffering and dying from.
Right now, we are living in the beginning of a climate and ecological breakdown, and we cannot continue to look away from this crisis anymore. I mean, what is it that seems to be so hard to understand? We have been repeating the same message over and over again. The scientists have been repeating the same message over and over and over again. And yet they are still not being listened to. It is the year 2019. Why is the world still ignoring the science and those most affected by this crisis? Why are the people in power still pretending that everything is fine, and as if we could just continue to live like now, as if there was no tomorrow?
Well, there is a tomorrow. It is the tomorrow where we young people will live. And we need to fight for that tomorrow, and we need to protect it, as if our lives depended on it. Because they do. People are already suffering, and dying, from the climate and ecological emergency.
And it will continue to get worse.
Doesn’t this mean anything to the decision-makers?
We will, and I will, never understand how they can put short-term interests above human lives, above the planet itself, and our very future?
But we young people have had enough. We say, no more. And if our parents won’t speak up for us, then we will.
We have drawn the line, and we will make sure that the people in power don’t get away with continuing like now. The older generations are failing us. They are failing future generations. But future generations do not have a voice, and the biosphere doesn’t have a voice. So we will be the voice that speaks up for them, and we will be the voice that speaks up for ourselves.
Right now, that is what we are doing, we are speaking up. And that’s what we will continue to do every Friday when we strike, and every single day that goes by.
We are speaking up, and we will not be silenced.
Do you think they are listening to us? (Crowd: No.)
Well, we will make them listen.