Youth-Led Climate Strike Draws Thousands To Downtown Chicago

Rob Hart
September 20, 2019 - 6:35 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Thousands of people — mostly youth — marched through the Loop as part of a worldwide climate change strike Friday. 

It started with a rally in Grant Park, then several thousand people marched from Columbus and Roosevelt to Federal Plaza for another rally under the Calder sculpture.

Nicole Cantello, president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 704, which represents workers at the environmental protection agency, said the students who cut class to march understand the urgency to slow down climate change.

Youth, community members and parents flooded downtown Chicago demanding for more work from the government to curb climate change. (Rob Hart/WBBM)

"Oh my god, they are here today in droves," Cantello said, adding that she was admiring the youth on the streets who understand the climate change crisis.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted that she was proud to stand with the youth speaking up around the world and in Chicago, saying "this is how change happens."

"I am committed to standing alongside them to do everything possible to fight climate change," Lightfoot said. 

At least 2,000 people were out in Chicago speaking up about the global climate movement. (Rob Hart/WBBM)

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle also voiced her support for the Global Climate Strike movement and the local efforts. The youth-led movement planned walkouts across Cook County, most notably downtown. It also took over major countries around the world and on social media.

“It is inspiring to see so many young people stand up for their beliefs and fight for change,” said Preckwinkle. “Today, these young people are asking adults to join them. It is incumbent upon us all to address climate change to make our world livable for generations to come.”