Youth Climate Strike Hits Miami Beach

On Friday around 500 students and adults converged on Miami Beach City Hall, joining people from more than 100 countries to fight back against climate change.

The Youth Climate Strike, which was mainly organized by young people, aimed to push  Congress to implement science-based climate solutions, a transition to renewable energy, and to stop any new fossil fuel infrastructure from being built, according to South Florida strike organizers The Cleo Institute.

“We want policies that are for our future because this is a government for the benefit of the people,” said Chiara Bruzzi, a 15-year-old climate striker and outreach director at Florida Youth Climate Strike.

The global climate strikes were sparked by 15-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg, who just over a year ago started sitting outside Swedish Parliament by herself to try and raise awareness of the need for climate change. Her message quickly caught on throughout Europe with strikes being held in many major cities.

Last month she decided to bring her advocacy to the United States by sailing across the Atlantic to New York City. Her advocacy made such an impact that New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio threw his support behind the school walkouts and excused around 1.1 million New York public school students from class to let them join in on the strike without getting in trouble.

Climate advocates hope these protests will push the government to listen to the younger generation and start working with its members to secure a better future for the planet, said Bruzzi.

Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, Imogen Francis now studies journalism at Florida International University. She was a staff news writer at the student newspaper PantherNow and has experience writing about the LGBTQ community, women's rights and politics.

Samantha Marsh studies communications and journalism at Florida International University. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, she writes about Caribbean American life, cultural arts and environmental issues.