ITHACA, N.Y. — Hundreds of young people in Ithaca took to the streets Friday to strike for the climate.

The Ithaca Commons was the meeting place for the many students that streamed down from Cornell University and Ithaca College, from Ithaca High School, LACS, and other local schools with handmade signs. They chanted for a Green New Deal and shouted in unison, “Fossil fuels have got to go.”

An estimated 1,200 people gathered by the Bernie Milton Pavilion on the Commons for Ithaca’s part in the Global Climate Strike. It was one of thousands of demonstrations across the country and globe Friday. Millions of people took to the streets to urge leaders around the world to step up and combat climate change.

Speakers who addressed the large crowd Friday demanded a Green New Deal, respect of indigenous land, environmental justice, sustainable agriculture, and an immediate end to burning fossil fuels. Part of the mission of the Global Climate Strike is to draw attention to climate change as an emergency.

“The climate crisis is an emergency – we want everyone to start acting like it,” the organizing page states.

Protesters carried signs Friday that read, “There is no Planet B,” “I’m studying for a future that’s being destroyed” and “Our house is on fire.”

With the strikes, young people are putting pressure on world leaders to act. The demonstrations come a few days ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit, which will bring leaders from different sectors – politics, business, and others – to discuss concrete plans to address the global climate emergency.

The rallying continued later at Stewart Park, with several speakers including students, scientists and activists. One speaker was Franny Lux, a student at  Lehman Alternative Community School.

“We need everyone who can to band together to help push forward legislation that can work to improve the outlook — to slow our current warming, to ensure a sustainable future for my generation, for future generations. Showing up today is an important step but we must make sure to keep moving forward. Our time is running out,” Lux said.

Here are a few photos of Ithaca’s day of climate action, both on the Ithaca Commons and at Stewart Park. All photos by Managing Editor Kelsey O’Connor. Click any photo to see a larger version. 

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.