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News > Italy

Italy: Over a Million Climate Protesters Take to the Streets

  • School students and environmental activists take part in the Global Strike for Climate rally in Turin, Italy, 27 Sep. 2019.

    School students and environmental activists take part in the Global Strike for Climate rally in Turin, Italy, 27 Sep. 2019. | Photo: EFE

Published 27 September 2019

"Incredible," and "amazing" were adjectives used by local media to describe the largest mobilization of Italians seen in decades.

In a collective action, rarely seen in decades, over a million  Italians turned to execute their "Scopiero Per il Clima", the local version of the climate strike promoted by the Fridays for the Future (FFF) movement which the Swedish Greta Thunberg has been active in since last year.


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Citizens of all ages took to the streets in 160 Italian cities to join the Third Global Climate Strike, an event which is a sequel to the massive mobilizations carried out on March 15 and May 24.

"There are at least 200 thousand people at Rome's most attended square, followed by the Milan one with 150 thousand. In Naples there are about 80 thousand people, 50 thousand in Florence, 20 thousand in Turin and 10 thousand in Palermo," climate activist Gianfranco Mascia reported and added that similar figures can be seen in other medium and small cities all over the country.

Against the backdrop of the beautiful scenery provided by their country's squares and streets, the Italians held demonstrations to demand from politicians concrete actions to stop global warming.

"We talk about extinction and therefore there is no more time to make statements and to listen to empty words," Silvia Visca said and stressed that "we want concrete actions."

"If [politicians] deny climate change, then you don't give them your vote," was one of the songs chanted by people as they marched in front of the famous Roman Colosseum.

Previously, in what could be seen as unusual request, Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti, who is also a political economy professor at the Pretoria University, encouraged students to skip school and take part in Friday's protests.

"I have asked schools to consider the justified absence of students who take part in the global mobilization against climate change," he said on Monday.

In one of the most polluted Italian cities, Venice, which will be also one of the most affected by sea level rise, young people displayed their imagination by showing their dissatisfaction with their government.

"We have water in the throat. Venice will sink first," they chanted under the Rialto Bridge while wearing masks and snorkels to raise awareness about the budding problem.

In this European country, the effects of global climate change are also being dramatically displayed at its glaciers.

On Wednesday, Alpine zone mayors and scientists organized a meeting near the Mont Blanc massif to discuss possible solutions to the collapse of the glacier.

Authorities monitoring the Planpincieux glacier drew attention to two highly probable ecological ​​​​​​​scenarios: either the 250,000-cubic-meter-long block of ice collapses in one go, or the glacier melts bit-by-bit over time.

As things stand, however, the possibility that this Italian glacier remains the same is unlikely.

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