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For years, Black Friday has been sold as a holiday day for the consumer. In the 2018, Black Friday resulted in $6.22 billion in online sales alone, per CNBC. This year, climate activists wants people to stop and reconsider such rampant consumption.
Climate protests are taking place around the world this Black Friday to raise awareness about the dangers of climate change. The protests are also timed to demand action during the U.N. climate negotiations, COP25, which will begin in Madrid, Spain on Dec. 2.
Climate activists say more than 80 strikes are happening in the U.S. alone. Protests have already happened in Asia and Europe. In Germany alone, activists say 630,000 turned out.
According to organizers, protesters plan to disrupt large shopping centers in Chicago and hold a march and a rally in Los Angeles called “Don’t Shop. Strike!” According to Reuters, organizers expect strikes to take place in 2,300 cities in 152 countries around the world.
Ritvik Janamsetty, a spokesman for climate coalition Earth Uprising, tells TIME he estimates around 2 million people took part in strikes Friday.
“We are striking because our leaders haven’t been listening to us. They think our voices are ones they can ignore and not take seriously,” 16-year-old American climate activist Maya Arengo said in a statement. “They don’t understand that we, the youth, are terrified for our futures and we won’t stop fighting until our futures are secure.”
Thunberg rose to prominence in 2018 when she started striking from school on Fridays to demand action on climate change in her home country of Sweden. She has since launched a movement called Fridays for Future, inspiring millions of people around the world to strike from school or work on Fridays to demand movement to fight the climate crisis.
In September, Thunberg and other activists led a global climate strike, which drew millions of people around the world to protest and demand action to fight the coming climate catastrophe. Those same organizers have planned protests around the world on Black Friday, hoping to raise awareness of the days ecological impact and demand climate action from COP25 in Spain next week.
In September 7,5 million people around the world took to the streets. Tomorrow we’re doing it again. Everyone’s needed. Everyone’s welcome. Join us! #FridaysForFuture #ClimateStrike #schoolstrike4climate
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) November 28, 2019
Ice Cream company Ben & Jerry’s, whose owners are known for progressive politics, tweeted out a map of strikes in the U.S.
STRIKE TODAY! Climate change is the biggest threat to our future. Youth across the US will lead a #ClimateStrike today & Dec 6 to demand legislative action to combat the climate crisis.
Learn more and join a strike: https://t.co/AIDjyzDuiJ pic.twitter.com/KSmMyyNC6o
— Ben & Jerry's (@benandjerrys) November 29, 2019
Reuters reports that thousands of people in Asia and Europe have already taken part in the protests.
According to social media, protests took place across the U.K., including in London, Belfast, Bristol Brighton and Plymouth.
— Jake Woodier (@JakeWoodier) November 29, 2019
— Bayview Media (@BayviewMedia) November 29, 2019
— Extinction Rebellion Bristol 🛑🏗️ (@XRBristol) November 29, 2019
— Bill Simpson (@crickbar) November 29, 2019
— BBC Sussex (@BBCSussex) November 29, 2019
Protestors in Australia have also turned out. The the country has been hit by a series of devastating wildfires.
— School Strike 4 Climate (@StrikeClimate) November 29, 2019
— Fridays For Future Sydney (@fff_Sydney) November 29, 2019
— Small But Mighty Kids Change the World (@KidsOutFront) November 29, 2019
Greenpeace Philippines tweeted video of climate protestors in Manila.
— Greenpeace Philippines (@gpph) November 29, 2019
Activist Lucky Tran tweeted video of protests she says are from Tokyo:
— Dr. Lucky Tran (@luckytran) November 29, 2019
Per social media, protesters also turned out in Denmark, India, Bangladesh, Austria, Germany and Belgium.
— SussiLillelund (@SussiLillelund) November 29, 2019
In India,the government produce energy by polluting the city.All the waste is burned to produce energy and what's leftover is waste, toxic fumes and more emissions.#FridaysForFuture outside incineration plant, New Delhi#ClimateStrike
— Greenpeace India (@greenpeaceindia) November 29, 2019
— Giorgio Gotra (@GiorgioGtr) November 29, 2019
— Lisa Göldner (@lisagoeldner) November 29, 2019
— Greenpeace Austria 💚 (@GreenpeaceAT) November 29, 2019
Thunberg has planned to take part in a student strike in Lisbon, per Reuters, although her zero-carbon emissions sailboat crossing the Atlantic from New York was slowed down a few days by high winds. Protests took place in Portugal Friday.
— Telma Laurentino (@TelmaLaurentino) November 29, 2019
According to the Associated Press, protestors near Paris blocked one of Amazon’s warehouses to protest over-production. They reportedly had signs that said: “Amazon: For the climate, for jobs, stop expansion, stop over-production!”
“The planet burns, oceans die, and we still want to consume, consume, and therefore produce, produce – until we eradicate all living things? … We will not betray our children for a 30% discount!” also reads the manifesto of protestors around Paris, per the AP.
Some French lawmakers have proposed banning Black Friday because it causes “resource waste” and “over consumption,” the AP reports.
In an article posted on the website Project Syndicate, Thunberg, and activists Luisa Neubauer and Angela Valenzuela called for a strike next Friday as well. “To the leaders who are headed to Madrid, our message is simple: the eyes of all future generations are upon you. Act accordingly.”