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Tens of thousands march for the climate in Madrid

TENS of thousands of people marched in Madrid and Santiago, Chile, today to demand real action on climate change.

Swedish eco-warrior Greta Thunberg joined the mass demo in the Spanish capital, where the COP-25 climate summit has been taking place.

Marchers united behind the slogan “the world has woken up to the climate emergency.”

Greta joined teenagers staging a sit-in in the UN climate summit itself who held hands, sang Power to the People and waved Fridays for Future banners.

Chilean groups on the march carried banners denouncing the neoliberal regime of Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, which had been due to host the summit but dropped the idea in the face of mass anti-government demonstrations which have rocked the country for over a month.

Civil Society for Climate Action (SCAC) spokeswoman Estefania Gonzalez said: “I come from Chile, a country where an avocado tree has more right to water than a person.”

The mass protests against inequality in Chile were “directly related to the environmental crisis,” she said.

“Today, climate action means social equality, it’s not possible to have social equality without environmental equality.”

SCAC has run a Social Summit for Climate Action alongside the UN summit, with a strong presence from indigenous groups in Latin America who are seeing their rights to land attacked by the Jair Bolsonaro government in Brazil.

They have also been victims of a violent terror campaign implemented by Bolivia’s coup government since the military overthrew the country’s elected, and indigenous, president Evo Morales last month.

A march in Chilean capital Santiago was timed to coincide with the demo in Spain.

An alliance of US states, cities, academic institutions and companies opened its own venue at the climate talks, aiming to show that despite the Donald Trump government’s decision to pull out of the Paris accord, many in the US remain committed to curbing global warming.

Elan Strait, who manages the We Are Still In initiative for the World Wildlife Fund, said the movement was “a short-term band-aid not only to get those carbon dioxide emissions down but also to encourage policymakers to lay the ground for further achievements.”

Fourteen seafaring nations published a study on the likely impact of predicted warming on maritime industries today, saying if emissions were not sharply reduced fisheries will be devastated.

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