|Members of the Bohio Atabei; the Guainía Taíno Tribe, and others participated in the September 20 Climate Strike delegation organized by the United Confederation of Taíno People.|
The actions in New York and around the world took place three days before world leaders met for the United Nations Climate Summit. In a press conference held days before the Global Climate Strike, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated that “[Young people] are absolutely right to press us to do better and to unite behind science."
The New York Climate Strike included opening and closing rallies and a massive march from Foley Square to Battery Park that was organized and led by youth activists, inspired in part, by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.
Thunberg attended and addressed the event stating that political leaders are not acting to reduce carbon emissions despite the 2018 warning issued by the world’s leading climate scientists, who reported that the world must cut global emissions in half by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Among the frontline communities participating in the march were local and international representatives of Indigenous Peoples. Opening and closing remarks and cultural offerings were presented by and or on behalf of members of the Ramapo Lenape and the Schaghticoke First Nations, as well as Indigenous Peoples of the Brazilian Amazon, Canada, Ecuador, Mexico, and a delegation of Taino peoples organized by the United Confederation of Taíno People, an indigenous representative institution that officially endorsed the September 20 action.
In her statement from the main stage, Bibi Vanessa Inarunikia, representing the Bohio Atabei Caribbean Indigenous Women’s Circle encouraged continued actions and leadership by youth, noting this was just the beginning. Her statements were followed by the delegation singing a unity song in the Taíno language.
The Climate Strike coincided with the second anniversary of when Hurricane Maria devasted Puerto Rico and centered on three core demands including calls for a Green New Deal; Respect of Indigenous Land and Sovereignty; and Environmental Justice.