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Public ‘hanging’ kicks off Fridays for Future week of action

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau will go to UN climate change summit in New York on Monday


20 September 2019 07:54 PM


Oliver Little | Barcelona

September 20 marks the start of “Week for Future”, a week of performances, workshops and protests against climate change hosted by student-led initiative Fridays for Future. 

On Friday evening, activists gathered in Sant Jaume square where a public ’execution’ was held to kick off the week.

Three men in nooses, who represented multinational companies, stood on melting ice blocks while ‘executioners’ held up signs denouncing them as guilty. 

This is part of a global initiative led by school students, in what constitutes a big end to the month for climate change in Catalonia and also worldwide. Friday has already seen huge crowds take to the streets in Germany and Australia.

Fridays for Future was founded two years ago, when Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, aged 15 at the time, took time off school to stand in front of Swedish Parliament and protest on her own. 

The movement has reached hundreds of countries and cities across the world, including Barcelona. The primary drive of the initiative is that politicians and authorities are not doing enough to combat arguably the most pressing issue for our planet. 

More to be done in Barcelona

Fridays for Future in Barcelona believes in activism - a spokesperson has said that the Barcelona Low Emission, which is believed to reduce pollution by around 20%, is “nowhere near enough.”

Instead they believe that Barcelona should introduce a toll for cars entering the city, something that they believe will cut pollution in half. 

The week will culminate on September 27th, when there will be a global strike. A mixture of secondary school students and university students will take to the streets of Barcelona, heading from the Gràcia Jardinets up to the Plaça de Catalunya.

Colau heads to Big Apple

Meanwhile, Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau will jet off to New York on Monday in time for the UN climate change summit.

The summit will bring together heads of government states to strengthen the fight against climate change, monitor the 2030 world agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Colau will be accompanied by Socialist Laia Bonet, who is currently deputy mayor of the 2030 Agenda (a global initiative for a more sustainable future), to exchange strategies and form new partnerships with other international cities. 

Bonet will attend conferences on the achievement of the anti-climate change Sustainable Development Goals.   

This year Barcelona has been invited in recognition of policies that the city has implemented to fight against global warming and pollution. 

European Mobility Week coming to an end

Colau heads to New York the day after the end of European Mobility Week. Nearly 3,000 cities across Europe have set aside their cars in favour of walking, cycling and public transport.

Sunday September 22, the final day of Mobility Week, is also World Car Free Day. Initiatives such as these will hope that in the future, there will not be a need for such a duly named day



  • The public 'hanging' comes during an important fortnight for climate change in Catalonia (by Laura Fíguls)

  • The public 'hanging' comes during an important fortnight for climate change in Catalonia (by Laura Fíguls)