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Youth rally around the world in global climate strike

WATCH: ‘We will not be bystanders’: Greta Thunberg delivers message to Montreal climate protesters

Thousands of youth from around the world took to the streets Friday in protest of climate change.

READ MORE: ‘We will not be bystanders’: Greta Thunberg tells hundreds of thousands at Montreal climate march

From Ghana to the Philippines, South Korea to Mexico, protestors were united in demanding change from political and business leaders over their approach to the growing climate crisis.

Friday’s protests were the second global movement after a first worldwide strike last Friday, which was followed by a United Nations emergency climate summit a few days later.

Organizers from environmentalist group 350.org estimated Friday more than 6.6 million protestors have participated in demonstrations throughout the week.

WATCH: From Halifax to Victoria, a look at some of the larger climate rallies on Friday

Students highlight huge day of protests during global climate strike
Students highlight huge day of protests during global climate strike

The strike began in New Zealand on Friday with an estimated 170,000 people, or 3.5 per cent of the country’s entire population.

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Local media reported around 40,000 people showed up in Wellington, where students delivered a petition to the national parliament requesting the government declare a climate emergency.

Students take part in a "Fridays for Future" march calling for urgent measures to combat climate change, in Kolkata, India, September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Ranita Roy
Students take part in a "Fridays for Future" march calling for urgent measures to combat climate change, in Kolkata, India, September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Ranita Roy
A woman holds a placard as she participates in a Fridays for Future march calling for urgent measures to combat climate change in Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 27, 2019. The placard reads: " The other fights don't make sense if the planet goes to hell." REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian
A woman holds a placard as she participates in a Fridays for Future march calling for urgent measures to combat climate change in Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 27, 2019. The placard reads: " The other fights don't make sense if the planet goes to hell." REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian
A woman wears a gas mask as she participates in a Fridays for Future march calling for urgent measures to combat climate change in Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian
A woman wears a gas mask as she participates in a Fridays for Future march calling for urgent measures to combat climate change in Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian
Greek students and activists of environmental organisations hold placards and shout slogans during a Global Climate Strike rally of the movement Fridays for Future in Athens, Greece, September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Costas Baltas
Greek students and activists of environmental organisations hold placards and shout slogans during a Global Climate Strike rally of the movement Fridays for Future in Athens, Greece, September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Costas Baltas
Schoolchildren, students and activists attend a protest march to call for action against climate change, in Vienna, Austria, September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
Schoolchildren, students and activists attend a protest march to call for action against climate change, in Vienna, Austria, September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
Demonstrators protest during a climate change strike in front of the St. Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi, Vietnam September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Kham
Demonstrators protest during a climate change strike in front of the St. Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi, Vietnam September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Kham
People take part in a protest against climate change during an event in Tel Aviv, Israel September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
People take part in a protest against climate change during an event in Tel Aviv, Israel September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

In Seoul, South Korea, about 500 students marched towards the presidential Blue House after a downtown rally and urged the government to address climate change, who they say so far gets at ‘F’ for their action.

READ MORE: Arrest at Montreal climate strike after protester reportedly throws egg at Trudeau

“I believe government action will change only if the voice of young people are heard because we’re the ones … who are going to be the greatest victims of a climate crisis,” said 15-year-old Kim Do-hyeon, who was one of the organizers.

The strikes are inspired by the activism of 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, who began the movement #FridaysForFuture. Thunberg marched in Montreal on Friday, along Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

The protests aim to “kickstart renewed action [on climate change] all over the world,” according to the Global Climate Strike website, with the ultimate aim for the world to eventually transition from fossil fuels to 100 per cent renewable energy.

WATCH: Canadian political leaders take part in worldwide climate strike

Canadian political leaders take part in worldwide climate strike
Canadian political leaders take part in worldwide climate strike

The movement’s influence even reached Russia, where there are strict protest laws. About 85 protesters in Moscow held up red and white fabric to spell the words “Act Now” in front of Russia’s main government building.

Russia announced earlier this month it would join the 2015 Paris Agreement to fight climate change — one of the last countries to do so. The country is the fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.

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Turnout in the Netherlands exceeded organizers’ expectations, with about 35,000 Dutch children joining. Police were forced to reroute the march in The Hague to a more spacious location.

A participant holds a drawing depicting Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg during a protest march to call for action against climate change, in The Hague, Netherlands September 27, 2019.
A participant holds a drawing depicting Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg during a protest march to call for action against climate change, in The Hague, Netherlands September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

READ MORE: Montreal’s climate strike through photographs

Protesters clearly were inspired by Thunberg, holding up pictures of her and placards reading: “For the Greta good,” “Don’t be a fossil fool,” and “You will die of old age, we will die of climate change.”

Tensions flared up in Lisbon, Portugal, where police removed hundreds of protesters mostly affiliated with the more extreme Extinction Rebellion group, who blocked one of the city’s main arteries.

Extinction Rebellion activists attend a protest to demand action on climate change in Lisbon, Portugal, September 27, 2019.
Extinction Rebellion activists attend a protest to demand action on climate change in Lisbon, Portugal, September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

In April, Extinction Rebellion’s protests in London, England, over 11 days caused disruption, with the group saying it was the biggest act of civil disobedience in recent British history.

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WATCH: Thousands march on Parliament Hill demanding action on climate change

Thousands march on Parliament Hill demanding action on climate change
Thousands march on Parliament Hill demanding action on climate change

Police also interacted with protesters in Poland after they blocked traffic in downtown Warsaw by chaining themselves to a tent.

Milan, Italy, chose a visceral way to show the effects of climate change, with a giant model globe literally bursting into flames as tens of thousands looked on.

Students set fire to a replica of the planet Earth during a worldwide protest demanding action on climate change, in Milan, northern Italy, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. The protests are inspired by Thunberg, who spoke to world leaders at a United Nations summit this week. ()
Students set fire to a replica of the planet Earth during a worldwide protest demanding action on climate change, in Milan, northern Italy, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. The protests are inspired by Thunberg, who spoke to world leaders at a United Nations summit this week. () Nicola Marfisi/ANSA via AP

Celebrities joined the youth, too. Actor Javier Bardem attended rallies in San Sebastian, Spain, and promoted a documentary he worked on with Greenpeace.

READ MORE: 120K people pack Vancouver, Victoria streets for Climate Strike, marches held around B.C.

Protests were relatively small in the U.S. compared to last week’s estimated turnout of 250,000 in New York. Only a handful were spotted outside the United Nations, according to local media.

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Nevertheless, Thunberg in Montreal said the protesters should be proud of themselves.

“The people have spoken. And we will continue to speak until our leaders listen and act. We are the change and change is coming.”

– With files from Reuters and the Associated Press