Hundreds of thousands join Canada climate strikes

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Hundreds of thousands of people have joined climate strike marches across Canada, with almost 100 events planned in cities and towns.

Protesters are taking part in the global climate strike movement, which has seen people around the world take to the streets.

Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg, who sparked the international campaign “Fridays for Future” movement, spoke in Montreal at the start of strikes in the city, which are expected to draw more than 300,000 people.

Organisers say half a million people have gathered in the eastern city of Montreal alone. Officials told local media the number was closer to 315,000.

Greta Thunberg participates in climate rally
More than 500,000 people participate in the climate strike in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Swedish sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg participated in several climate events in Montreal, continuing a month-long series of climate-related appearances in the US and Canada which began with her sailing from England to New York in late August. EPA-EFE/VALERIE BLUM

These figures place the Montreal event among some of the most attended environmental marches in history. The September 2014 People’s Climate March in New York attracted at least 310,000.

Schools, colleges and universities suspended all or some classes for the day, and the city government and some businesses have encouraged staff to take the day off. City public transit is also free for the event.

Greta Thunberg participates in climate rally
Swedish sixteen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg (R) participate in a climate strike in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. . EPA-EFE/VALERIE BLUM

The march was mostly peaceful, though a man was tackled by police and arrested after approaching Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Thunberg told Trudeau in her meeting with him that he’s not doing enough to protect the environment from the threat of runaway climate change.

Trudeau met the teenage activist ahead of Friday’s mass climate rally in Montreal in his capacity as prime minister. The pair spoke in private for about 15 minutes, shortly before Trudeau joined the rally marching through the city’s downtown.



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