Fridays for Future in Catalonia - a week of action against climate change

The organization will host protests, workshops and performances next week culminating in a global strike on September 27

The activists in the streets will be a mix of school and university students (by Sílvia Junyent Dalmau)
The activists in the streets will be a mix of school and university students (by Sílvia Junyent Dalmau) / Oliver Little

Oliver Little | Barcelona

September 18, 2019 11:58 AM

Between September 20 and 27, Fridays for Future is rising up in Catalonia. The organization is an anti-climate change body of school students who take time off school to participate in protests to demand action against global warming. It was initiated by Greta Thunberg of Sweden in 2018, who was just 15 at the time.  

The impact of global warming in Catalonia is undeniable. Various studies show there to be around 300 annual deaths due to heat as well as 3,500 premature deaths caused by air pollution. 

The message of Fridays for Future is simple - “we cannot resolve the crisis without treating it like a crisis.” For this reason, between September 20 and 27, there will be a series of events, strikes and protests during what the organization refers to as “Week for Future.”

The week will culminate on September 27 with the Global Climate Change Strikes. There will be strikes against climate change between university and secondary school students. 

They will take to the streets in protest, heading from the Gràcia Jardinets up to the Plaça de Catalunya. Several local governments and town councils have adhered to the strikes taking place.

Other events for the week include bike rides, performances and workshops. A full programme of events throughout the week is available online.

Big issues require big change 

The organization firmly believes more needs to be done in Catalonia. They say that the Barcelona Low Emission Zone is “nowhere near enough”, since it is only reducing pollution by around 20%. 

Instead they propose a toll to enter the city in a car, to encourage use of public transport, which they believe will reduce pollution by around 50%. 

Anti-climate change events 

The start of the week will overlap with European Mobility Week, an initiative that citizens of Catalonia will also partake in that encourages walking, cycling and public transport. 

On Wednesday afternoon, the General Workers Union of Catalonia (UGT), which has been combating climate change for years, will write on its mural its commitment to the planet and to future generations. 

This act, symbolic of the organization being engraved in the fight against global warming, also represents their acknowledgement of the challenges that lie ahead in bringing about more positive change.