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120K people packed Vancouver, Victoria streets for Climate Strike, marches held around BC

Thousands gathered in front of the Vancouver city hall on Friday to take part in one of dozens of clashes across the country.

Supporters started ringing at 9:45 am. After a brief rally in the town hall, the marchers took to the streets at 1:30 midnight.

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Organizers had hoped to see 15,000 people get out by 3pm. Vancouver police estimate that about 80,000 people have flooded the streets. That estimate later rose to 100,000.

Police said there were no major public safety problems, despite the crowd.

Firefighters in Victoria estimate that 20,000 people have been killed in the capital.

Many in the crowd carried signs with messages such as "This is not what we thought of Hot Girl Summer", "Act now or swim later" and "I'm sure the dinosaurs thought they had time".

Samantha Lynn, a student of the Secondary Prince of Wales and organizer of Sustainability, said she was thrilled with the movement's growth since students held their first strike in Vancouver last December.

"We are about a month away from the election, we want to bring climate to the forefront of everyone's minds when it comes to that," Lynn said.

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"This is one way we do it. I am 17 years old, I still can't vote, many people here are still in school and cannot vote. This is our way of hearing our voices. “

More than half a dozen cities in British Columbia, including Victoria and Kelowna, host a climate change demonstration on Friday.

Massive crowds gathered in front of BC the legislature, including NDP federal leader Jagmet Singh.

Conservative leader Andrew Heer, who was also in BC, said he would not march, but that other conservative politicians would march across the country.

The leader of the Greens, Elizabeth May and the leader of the Liberals, Justin Justin Trudeau, both marched in Montreal.

BC Prime Minister Johnon Morgan has decided to step out of the march, calling for meetings, but said he was pleased to see young people listening to their voices.

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BC Environment Minister George Fayman issued a statement in support of the government's clean-up program, but acknowledged more work needed to be done.

"Our plan guarantees that we are open and transparent about our goals and how we do it in our efforts to meet them," he said. "We expect to be held accountable and to put in place new mechanisms so that British Columbians can do just that."

Protesters point to serious warnings from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which predicts emissions must be cut by 45 percent from 2010 levels to 2030 and reach a net zero by 2050 to avoid serious impacts. climate change.

The IPCC released a report earlier this month warning that sea levels could rise by more than a meter by the end of the century if emissions are not reduced, while a 2019 report by Canadian government scientists predicts increased forest activity, ice loss the sea and drought.

Friday's global strike is one of two to coincide with the United Nations Climate Action Summit and is aimed at the arrival of teenage climate activists Greta Tunberg in Montreal.

"I expect you, as well as other countries, to take on your responsibility and fulfill your role from a global perspective," the 16-year-old Swede told protesters in Montreal on Friday.

"We have so much influence that people want to silence us, we become too loud for people to handle."

Vancouver residents have been warned of possible frozen traffic downtown.

The planned route intersects the streets of Beatty, Cambie, Hamilton, Homer, Richards, Seymour, Smith, Robson and West Georgia.

Vancouver police will also monitor the event and police will work to reduce the impact on traffic and the public.

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