Greta Thunberg announced in a first Twitter message that she had managed to sneak into the Spanish capital – “I think nobody saw me” It was clear she had no chance. Already on her departure in Lisbon, on the train and on her arrival, she was surrounded by journalists and photographers. But the sixteen-year-old retained the initiative.
Despite the growing press-mail clinging to her heels, she continued her cat and mouse game. At the train station in the north of Madrid, her police had to pave the way to the two waiting red electric cars. Actually, it was not until the afternoon that a first press conference was scheduled, before she wanted to join the big “Fridays for Future” demonstration on the Castellana Boulevard. “Today we write history”.
Thunberg turned up at noon in the exhibition halls on the outskirts of town to take part in sitting protest by young climate activists – on her arrival she had her sign saying “school strike for the climate” under her arm, which made her famous a year ago.
“Our voices heard, but politicians aren’t acting yet” – Greta Thunberg
Established environmental organizations have given the young activists some accreditation and space for press conferences. The movement is “bigger and bigger,” said Greta Thunberg and reminded of the school strikes that have been taking place for one and a half years in their Swedish homeland.
“Our voices are heard more, but politicians are not acting yet”, she regretted. The world leaders still had not realized the urgency of the climate crisis: “We can not wait any longer”, she said. Fearful of change, some tried to silence activists like them.
Chilean activist Estefania Gonzalez thanked Greta Thunberg for setting new tone to the past COP conferences, as the monopoly of the technocrats has finally broken. Originally, the conference was to take place in Santiago de Chile, where it was canceled due to the ongoing protests and relocated to Madrid at short notice.
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) December 6, 2019
More than a dozen German activists of the “Fridays for Future” movement traveled by train or bus and not on the plane. They followed the example of Greta Thunberg, who refrains from air travel, not to harm the climate.
At the closing rally, she spoke to the Spanish actor Javier Bardem, activists from Latin America and the demonstrators. She accused the politicians of irresponsible behavior and fraud. “You are the hope,” she said after a few words in Spanish to the thousands in front of the stage; she had “school strike” sign in her hands. “We point the way. Change will come, whether they want it or not. We have no choice, “said the sixteen-year-old.