Photos: kids in 123 countries went on strike to protect the climate

“This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice.”

An estimated 1.4 million young people in 123 countries skipped school Friday to demand stronger climate policies in what may be one of the largest environmental protests in history.

“This movement had to happen, we didn’t have a choice,” wrote the Swedish activist and strike leader Greta Thunberg with other young climate activists in the Guardian Friday. “We knew there was a climate crisis … We knew, because everything we read and watched screamed out to us that something was very wrong.”

Greta Thunberg speaks a strike outside of the Swedish parliament house, Riksdagen, in Stockholm, Sweden, on March 15.Michael Campanella/Getty Images
Greta Thunberg speaks a strike outside of the Swedish parliament house in Stockholm on March 15.

Thunberg, 16, began skipping school to strike in front of Sweden’s parliament in August. Soon students in other countries began to follow her lead in what became the Fridays for Future movement.

As her media presence has grown, Thunberg has become the voice of youth exasperation with policymakers’ failure to take steps to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions in the face of catastrophic climate change. “Our house is on fire,” she said in a January speech at Davos. “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.”

What Thunberg and her fellow protesters want from governments now is to “keep fossil fuels in the ground, phase out subsidies for dirty energy production, seriously invest in renewables and start asking difficult questions about how we structure our economies and who is set to win and who is set to lose,” as they put it in the Guardian. And they have the backing of thousands of scientists who’ve signed letters of support.

Strikes are also expected Friday in more than 100 US cities, and have been organized in large part by three girls: Alexandria Villasenor, Haven Coleman, and Isra Hirsi, daughter of the headline-making first-term Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

Here are some of the best photos and video we’ve seen of the strikes in the United States and around the world so far. This post will be updated throughout the day.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney Town Hall, Sydney, Australia.James Gourley/Getty Images
Sydney Town Hall, Sydney, Australia.James Gourley/Getty Images
Sydney Town Hall, Sydney, Australia.Don Arnold/Getty Images

Seoul, South Korea

South Korean students participate in a Climate Strike rally on March 15, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
South Korean students participate in a Climate Strike rally on March 15, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea.Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
South Korean students participate in a Climate Strike rally on March 15, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Delhi, India

An Indian child carries a placard as she participates in a school strike called ‘Fridays for future’ to protest against climate change in New Delhi, India, on March 15, 2019.Laurène Becquart/AFP/Getty Images
Indian school students hold placards as they take part in a protest against global warming in New Delhi on March 15, 2019.Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images
Indian school students shout slogans during a protest against global warming in New Delhi on March 15, 2019. Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images

San Francisco, California

Students march along Market Street during a protest against climate change Friday, March 15, 2019, in San Francisco. Ben Margot/AP
Students march along Market Street during a protest against climate change Friday, March 15, 2019, in San Francisco.Ben Margot/AP

London, England

Schoolchildren gather around Queen Victoria Memorial at Buckingham Palace as they take part in a student climate protest on March 15, 2019 in London, England. Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Cape Town, South Africa

Students in Cape Town, South Africa take part in a protest, Friday, March 15, 2019 as part of a global student strike against government inaction on climate change.Nasief Manie/AP

Washington, DC

Students cheer and chant while listening to a speaker during the Youth Climate Strike on March 15, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.Tom Brenner/Getty Images
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) attends a Youth Climate Strike in Washington D.C., on March 15, 2019.Tom Brenner/Getty Images
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) attends the strike in Washington, DC, on March 15, 2019.
Students cheer and chant while listening to a speaker during the Youth Climate Strike on March 15, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Lisbon, Portugal

Portuguese students chant and hoist placards in front of the Assembleia da Republica (Portuguese Parliament) during their demonstration to support actions for climate change on March 15, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal. Horacio Villalobos/Corbis/Getty Images
Portuguese students chant and hoist placards in front of the Assembleia da Republica (Portuguese Parliament) during their demonstration to support actions for climate change on March 15, 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal.Horacio Villalobos/Corbis/Getty Images

Prague, Czech Republic

Dublin, Ireland

Young activist holds ‘Human Change Not Climate Change’ sign during a rally for climate in Dublin, Ireland.NurPhoto via Getty Images

Young activists during a rally for climate, in Dublin, Ireland.NurPhoto via Getty Images

Stockholm, Sweden

Students participate in a strike outside of the Swedish parliament house, Riksdagen, in order to raise awareness for global climate change on March 15, 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden.Michael Campanella/Getty Images

Taipei, Taiwan

Yang Tzy-Ching, 12, took part in the Global Climate Strike to protest climate change and government inaction in front of the Presidential Palace on March 15, 2019 in Taipei, Taiwan. Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images
Cardboard drawn by Yang Tzy-Ching, 12, a grad 6 student who take part in the Global Climate Strike to protest climate change and government inaction in front of the Presidential Palace on March 15, 2019 in Taipei, Taiwan.Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images

Quezon City, Philippines

Environmentalists gather on climate issues in Quezon city, Philippines, on March 15, 2019.Jes Aznar/Getty Images
Environmentalists gather on climate issues in Quezon city, Philippines, on March 15, 2019.Jes Aznar/Getty Images

Dresden, Germany

Participants of a “Fridays for Future” demonstration in Saxony, Dresden.Robert Michael/picture alliance via Getty Images

Frankfurt, Germany

Zurich, Switzerland

Tokyo, Japan

Participants hold signs and shout slogans during the Fridays for Future march on March 15, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images
Participants gather at United Nations University for the Fridays for Future march on March 15, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

Edinburgh, Scotland

School children hold placards and shout slogans as they participate in a protest outside the Scottish Parliament on March 15, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
School children hold placards and shout slogans as they participate in a protest outside the Scottish Parliament on March 15, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - MARCH 15: School children hold placards and shout slogans as they participate in a protest outside the Scottish Parliament on March 15, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland.Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images