Climate strikes continue online: 'We want to keep the momentum going' Favorite 



Apr 22 2020



The large crowds and brightly coloured placards of the school climate strikes became some of the defining images of 2019.

“There would be lots of chanting and the energy was always amazing,” says Dominique Palmer, a 20-year-old climate activist from London who has been involved with the strikes for more than a year. “Being there with everyone in that moment is truly an electrifying feeling. It’s very different now.”

The coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to large gatherings of people the world over, and the climate strikers have had to change their tactics. Now, instead of big crowds they hold mass video calls, and instead of marching with banners and placards they post photos with hashtags.

“We’ve started digital striking because we want to keep the momentum going, so that when the pandemic is contained we still have that energy and we can go back on to the streets,” says Palmer.

Every Friday, the strikers post photos of themselves holding a sign with a message about the climate crisis along with #DigitalStrike or #ClimateStrikeOnline, and they congregate in large Zoom calls, often with more than 100 people.

“It’s the greatest call but also the most chaotic call you could ever imagine,” says Rikke Nielsen, 19, from Denmark. “Sometimes people bring animals; one time someone was playing the saxophone.”

The calls are giving the strikers a unique opportunity to connect with people they would not normally get the chance to meet. “I think we will start to see more of an international perspective in every country because of this,” says Nielsen.

The digital strikes are not the only online climate activism. In the US, groups are preparing a three-day livestream to mark Earth Day, an annual event celebrated around the world on 22 April to demonstrate support for protecting the environment.

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