The Youth Climate March stepped off for the first time on Saturday, with teenagers across the country organizing marches in numerous cities. The Manhattan march, which started outside the Trump International Hotel at Columbua Circle, saw hundreds of people peacefully marching to urge citizens to become more aware of the issues facing us with respect to the environment.
Teens formed a new activist group focused on climate justice called Zero Hour, and one of the co-organizers of the March, Ilana Cohen, told us last week, "We're calling for a divestment of both public and private funds from the fossil fuel industry and for a fossil-fuel-free future and a just transition to renewable energy. And obviously more specific demands under that."
She added, "In a more conceptual sense, the goal is really to galvanize people around the country. I think that putting youth at the forefront of this march is really important. There's going to be adult allies, and I'm sure that there will be lawmakers and public figures participating. We're welcoming that, but ultimately I think there is something really unique about showing that young people are not going to let go of the issue of climate change."
The march itself was smaller, with participants marching on the sidewalk with a police escort. Photographer Sai Mokhtari observed that it seemed "well-organized and energized," with organizers encouraging chants throughout the march." She aded, "I've been to smaller protests that were a lot less organized than this. I was thoroughly impressed by these youngsters. [It's] encouraging to think about what they'll be doing in 5 years."