In league with the Global Climate Strike, multiple demonstrations calling for action on climate change are scheduled in communities across Central Maine on Friday.

The movement began with Greta Thurnburg, a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden who began skipping school every Friday to protest in front of the Swedish Parliament. These school strikes grew into the Global Climate Strike, a worldwide call for young activists to take to the streets on Sept. 20 to demand immediate action on climate change.

Demonstrators call for action at a climate change rally on April 23, 2019 in the plaza between the Cross State Office Building and the Maine State House in Augusta. Kennebec Journal file photo by Joe Phelan

More than 4,500 protests are planned in 137 countries worldwide, with 950 strikes registered in the U.S. alone, according to Waterville protest organizer Dick Thomas.

Demonstrations are planned to commence across the state on Friday morning, including four across Central Maine.

Students at Colby College will march across campus in Waterville from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., beginning at the Cotter Union and ending on Miller Lawn where attendees will hear speeches and sing songs in solidarity for climate action.

Unity College’s demonstration will begin at 11 a.m.when students and faculty march across the Flagship Campus to the amphitheater where organizer Kaya Putz and college President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury will address the crowd. The march will be followed up by an eco-product raffle, a signing of a Climate Strike banner and a barbecue lunch featuring locally sourced food at the Wyman Commons.

Maine Climate Strikes, 350Maine and Maine Youth for Climate Justice have organized a protest in Farmington which will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Meetinghouse Gazebo across from the Courthouse. A rally for climate change action will begin at noon and run until 1:30 p.m.

Climate activists and activists to end family separation at the border have scheduled a combined protest which will begin at 4 p.m. at the corners of Main and Temple streets in Waterville. In a statement released on Wednesday, organizers said that the protesters have combined this rally because the issues of climate change and refugees are interrelated. Demonstrators will hold signs, sing songs and hand out the printed speech Greta Thurnburg gave at the U.N. Climate Summit in December 2018.

Friday’s Global Climate Strike coincides with the U.N. Climate Summit which will take place on Monday in New York City.

More information on strikes across the state are available at https://www.suitupmaine.org/strikewithus-climate-strike.

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