More than 40,000 people packed into the grounds of Wellington’s parliament buildings Friday, giving the latest global climate strike a flying start with the largest turnout yet seen in New Zealand.
Children in school uniform marched alongside teens with skateboards tucked under their arms and grey-haired protest veterans supporting the younger generation.
Participants carried signs saying “We’re skipping school to teach YOU a lesson”, “Denial = Death” and “What Greta said!”.
The latter referenced Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg’s powerful address to the Climate Action Summon in New York on Monday, when she thundered “how dare you” at world leaders over inaction on climate change.
New Zealander James Capie shared a similar sense of outrage and the 13-year-old said his generation would continue to protest until their demands were acted upon.
“People do have every right to be angry. My generation shouldn’t be out here missing school,” he said at the Wellington strike.
“But it’s really important to me that we’re out here making a stand against other generations that have really screwed over our planet.
“If enough of us come out here and show enough mana (honor) and support for each other the message will get through.”
Young people had to act, 14-year-old Armand Headland said, arguing that inaction would see the planet transformed into an uninhabitable wasteland.
“It’ll be just like Venus because it’s so hot… there’s not going to be any humans left because of our activity if we keep burning stuff,” he said.
Michael Alspach, 37, braved the crowds with 17-month-old toddler Ella, saying he would not be able to look his daughter in the eye unless he did everything in his power to secure her future.
“It’s probably not going to be too bad for me, to be honest, but she’s going to be 80 in 2100 and that’s when the projections are looking quite bad, so I’m doing it for her,” he said.
While dissatisfied at the climate commitments made in New York, Alspach was confident the push for meaningful action was gaining momentum.
“It’s great to see so many people out here. Changing perspectives is the first step, actions come after ideas — I’m hopeful,” he said.
Republican Doug Collins demands Democrats be charged with obstruction of Congress in unhinged rant
On Wednesday, ranking House Judiciary Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) shouted down the impeachment effort against President Donald Trump in a bizarre rant that ended with him calling for House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) to be charged with obstruction of Congress.
"This is the articles that we wrote after all of these hearings and all these grand pronouncements and grounds in plain sight, we get abuse of power with no real dates on this is the abuse? Just generic, vague statements?" said Collins. "You know why I believe that is? Because the Democrats can't come up with the argument for it. They don't know who knew it and when they knew it. We'll give you abuse of power and pick something you don't like about the president, and there is the abuse of power, and this is about expediency as much as anything else, and that should never be in articles of impeachment and anybody who does that is treading on very thin ice."
McConnell shuts down Trump’s demand to make Democrats testify in impeachment: ‘Mutually assured destruction’
President Donald Trump has made his position clear on how he wants the impeachment trial to be conducted: A partisan parade of Republican-approved witnesses the Senate GOP can publicly smack down, like Hunter Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), and the anonymous intelligence community whistleblower who originally filed the complaint.
According to the Washington Post, however, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has put his foot down on that idea, and has instead been urging for the Senate to call no witnesses at all — both to prevent the proceedings from becoming a circus and to prevent Democrats from being given opportunities to present evidence against the president.
Trump is ‘increasingly agitated and aggravated’ as he watches television coverage of impeachment: report
President Donald Trump is frustrated as the impeachment inquiry dominates media attention.
CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta was interviewed Wednesday by Wolf Blitzer.
"The president is getting closer and closer to being impeached, we're told he's privately agitated even as he publicly mocs the allegations against him," Blitzer said. "What are you hearing, first of all from the White House?
"One thing we should point out, just in the last hour or so, we heard from President Trump from a Hanukkah celebration at the White House. He has been busy in a social media bunker, posting some 70 tweets and retweets over the last 24 hours, many of those on impeachment," Acosta explained.