Demonstrators gather in Hartford, New London as part of climate strike

New London — The global climate strike has begun.

This weeklong event, spanning from Sept. 20 to 27, has been organized to revitalize efforts surrounding climate advocacy and inform world leaders that "those working on this crisis have the backing of millions of human beings who have a growing dread about the climate," according to organizers 350.org, bit.ly/GClimateStrike19.

In Hartford, climate activists amassed Friday at the state Capitol, while locally, residents have taken up the call and gathered at Parade Plaza to add their voices to the global rally.

With handwritten signs emblazoned with slogans including "Angry As A Mother," "Evidence over Ignorance," "On Strike," "Mother Earth, We Do Care," and "It's getting HOT in here," activists are calling for others to join the initiative.

"We need to do something to save our planet," says Tracey Burto, a Norwich resident. "I'm hosting a 'We the People Rally' here at Parade Plaza at noon tomorrow (Saturday) and I hope people continue to come — we have to further this momentum." 

She was not alone in that sentiment; Michele Dickey, an Old Lyme resident, adds, "I have a 5-month-old granddaughter and I'm worried she might not have a world to grow up in if we don't fight to save our planet."

The crowd at the plaza continued to grow, as over 200 demonstrators lined the sidewalk, holding up their signs and chanting "This is what Democracy looks like!" and "There is no planet B." Drivers in passing cars beeped their approval to triumphant cheers.

"Climate change affects people in unequal ways. We need to work together as a planet to heal," participant Liz Spurr said. She continued, "We are here to support climate advocacy. We are here to support this movement."

On Sept. 23, the United Nations will hold its Climate Change Summit to discuss what it calls the "extreme" need for climate policy. The global climate strike hopes to demonstrate to the U.N. that people everywhere support new policy.

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