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Fridays for Future stages global climate strike

Climate activists staged demonstrations in cities around the world on Friday to demand more aid for poor countries hit by climate change.

The Fridays for Future movement started by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg called the protests, held from Berlin to New Delhi on the final day of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, under the hashtag #PeopleNotProfit.

In the German capital Berlin, organisers said 36,000 people marched through the city centre, although local authorities put the number at around 22,000.

The activists held up placards with slogans including “Your Politics is Killing Us” and “There’s No Planet B”.

“I think we still have a chance to change something. But to do that we really have to change our lifestyle now. And a radical change,” protester Clemens Biet, 36, told AFP.

“There is a lot going on in Germany at the moment and there are certainly days when despair prevails and there is a feeling that things are happening far too slowly,” said Stella Lesch, 29.

“But there is also a lot of action being taken and a lot of people giving hope and giving the impression that a lot is possible.”

In the Indonesian capital Jakarta, police lined the streets as protesters filed past chanting to the rhythm of drums.

Protesters also marched in New Delhi, carrying an array of colourful banners and placards, with one sign reading “Welcome 2 Most Polluted Capital”.

In France, activists briefly blocked the entrance to a TotalEnergies site in Lyon.

Demonstrators also gathered in Rennes, Strasbourg, Grenoble, Marseille, Montpellier and Paris.

“What we want to say today is that, after a summer of climate disasters, drought, water restrictions and heat, we could not go back to school as if nothing had happened,” said Pablo Flye, a spokesman for Fridays for Future in France.

Thunberg, who began her “School strike for the climate” outside Sweden’s parliament in 2018, has risen to become one of the world’s most famous champions of action on climate change.