In 100 days exactly, we will strike again. On April 22, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, young people and adults across the United States will once again take to the streets to demand climate action. Earth Day will launch three consecutive days of massive strikes, fulfilling our promise to take the climate strike movement beyond what we achieved on September 20.
Inaction is not an option. This has been the hottest decade on record and last year was the second hottest ever. Since the bushfire season began in November, fires in Australia have killed 25 people, wiped out over a billion animals, and blanketed cities across the country with historic levels of air pollution. Since 2020 began, thirteen days ago, floods in Indonesia have killed more than 66 people and displaced 400,000 more. These are the signals of climate change — the crisis is here.
We have had enough of the inaction of government and business leaders. Now is our time to come together and be unified in our demand for change. On September 20, 2019, over 650,000 people across the United States, and 4 million worldwide, participated in the largest youth-led climate mobilization the world has ever seen. Over 1,300 locations across the country left school and work, with NYC and Boston school districts permitting students to be excused from school to attend, and hundreds of businesses publicly supporting us.
However, marching and striking for a day is just a start. It’s now time to take it to the next level and sustain this momentum over time. Indigenous youth and youth of color, who are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis, have claimed their rightful seat at the table. We are uniting all youth and adults across nations and movements. We call upon everyone — every single one of you — to join us as we strike for climate justice on Earth Day.
Indigenous elders and leaders have issued warnings for decades. They told of a time when the black snake would rise, and that time has come. Scientists agree that the climate crisis is no longer a future dystopian threat. It’s happening before our eyes, and it’s going to get worse. If no action is taken, the fires will become more frequent, the floods more deadly, and the heat waves more extreme. More lives will be lost and more homes will be destroyed.
It’s not too late to turn things around. Solutions exist. All we need now is the will. We must make the choice, each of us, to join the growing movement and protect our lives while at the same time fighting for everyone — no matter what the color of their skin, where they were born, or their economic standing — to have fresh and healthy food at our tables; clean, safe drinking water running from the taps; and access to a good, meaningful job.
The 2020 strikes will begin on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Fifty years ago, 20 million people took to the streets on April 22 to demand a cleaner, healthier environment. This historic day of action led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passing of many laws to safeguard clean air and water, and protect the natural world.
A lot has changed, for better and for worse, in the last 50 years. This anniversary must be a time to not just celebrate our triumphs, but also to look back on our defeats and to build on those lessons as environmental activism has grown and evolved over the decades.
Wednesday, April 22nd, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, will be the launch of one of the most powerful civic actions for environmental protection in our history. It will provide an opportunity to listen to Indigenous peoples’ wisdom, reflect on our connections to this earth, and serve as an invitation for everyone to make the decision to join us and commit to making climate change action a top priority. It will kick off three days of mass actions, including rallies, marches, strikes, teach-ins, and protests.
Thursday, April 23, will be a day focused on community action. College students at dozens of campuses across the country will be calling on their colleges to stop profiting off of the destruction of our land and climate and to divest from fossil fuels. Adults will be targeting their place of work as well as demanding that our everyday institutions — like Wells Fargo, Chase Bank, Liberty Mutual, and other banks and businesses — take money out of fossil fuels. This is the day that we must reach out to everyone we know and ask them to step up with us.
Finally, on Friday, April 24, we as a country will demonstrate our unity through mass mobilization. This is the day we strike. Led by young people, we are calling on everyone who can to strike from school or work, and take to the streets. We are united in our demands for immediate action to address this existential threat of climate change. This is our time to stand together and use our collective voice to demand action.
This decade may be our final chance to turn things around. As we approach critical elections here in the US, the climate and how it will impact our future must be at the top of every voter’s mind. This is why we are striking for three days. Come November, we need to see a record turnout of young people at the polls, and the Earth Day Strikes will kick off the countdown.
From April 22nd to April 24th, we need all hands on deck to send a message that we refuse to go to school and work while inaction, fueled by greed and profit, threatens our planet. We need everyone — young, old, and in between — to join us.
The three days of action are an open invitation to anyone who believes our generation, and all generations that come after us, deserve a future safe from climate catastrophe.
The time to act is now. This must be the decade of climate action, and this must be the year it begins. We hope you consider this your invitation to join the movement to save our lives, and add your name to Strike With Us.
Alyssa Lee, Divest Ed
Marlow Banes, Earth Guardians
Meadow Cook, Earth Uprising
Caroline Choi, Extinction Rebellion Youth US
Camille Petitcolas, Fridays For Future USA
Katie Eder, Future Coalition
Thomas Lopez Jr, International Indigenous Youth Council
Naina Agrawal-Hardin, Sunrise Movement
Feliquan Charlemagne, US Youth Climate Strike
Nadia Nazar, Zero Hour
Drew Hudson, 198 methods
Tamara Toles O'Laughlin and Bill McKibben, 350.org
Amy Gray, 350 Colorado
Karen Bearden, 350 Triangle
Maayan Cohen, Alliance for Climate Education
Katie Huffling and Barbara Sattler, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
Thomas Oppel, American Sustainable Business Council
Ted Glick, Beyond Extreme Energy
Kassie Siegel, Center for Biological Diversity
Linda Rudolph MD, Center for Climate Change and Health
Mike Tidwell, Chesapeake Climate Action Network
RL Miller, Climate Hawks Vote
Jairo Garcia, Climate Reality Project Atlanta Chapter
Sam Sheka Moi, Community Health
Spike Buckley, Earth’s Call Fund
Denis Hayes, Earth Day Network
Geri Freedman, Elders Climate Action
Rev. Nathan Empsall, Faithful America
Ariella Granett, Flight Free USA
Jane Fonda, Fire Drill Fridays
Ankush K. Bansal, MD, Florida Clinicians for Climate Action
Liz Butler, Friends of the Earth
Michael Hansen, Gasp
Ed Maibach, MPH, PhD, George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication
Dr. Laura Andereko PhD RN, Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies
Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith
Annie Leonard, Greenpeace
Mike Menzel, MD, Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate
Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., Hip Hop Caucus
Jonathan Kagi, Kagi Media
Gene Karpinski, League of Conservation Voters
Lauren Burke, Labor Network for Sustainability
Jared Meyers, Legacy Vacation Resorts
Jaquie Algee, March On
Sara Newmark, MegaFood
Charissa Verdoorn, Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light
Dominique Browning, Moms Clean Air Force
Kelsey Wirth, Mothers Out Front
Carol Ehrle, Movement for a People's Party
Manuel Gorrin, Nature's Path Foods
Katya Moorman and Karen Dunn, No Kill Magazine
Rebecca Concepcion Apostol, Oil Change International
Justin Winters, One Earth
Ben Grossman-Cohen, Oxfam America
Brennan Lewis, Peace First
Brandi Kaufman, PeaceJam and Billion Acts
Sam Read, Peoples Climate Movement
Rev. Michael Malcolm, People's Justice Council
Ned Ketyer, M.D., Physicians for Social Responsibility - Pennsylvania
Nadya Dutchin, Power Shift Network
Alan Minsky and Russell Greene, Progressive Democrats of America
Shelley Tanenbaum, Quaker Earthcare Witness
Ashwani Vasishth, Ramapo College of New Jersey
Mike Brune, Sierra Club
Lance Gould, Silicon Valley Story Lab
Susan Jaffe, South Beach District 6 Democratic Club of San Francisco
Raul Monreal, Penn Diehl, and Melissa Elder, Sunrise Movement San Diego
Stefanie Sekich-Quinn, Surfrider Foundation
Will Morin, The Climate Reality Project: South Carolina Upstate Chapter
Mike Harrington, Tishman Environment and Design Center at The New School
Dr. Kathleen Rest, Union of Concerned Scientists
Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, Unitarian Universalist Association
Rev. Dr. Douglas B. Hunt, Unitarian Universalist Ministry For Earth
Frederick E. Kowal, United University Professions
John Kerry, World War Zero