CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - More than 1,000 people headed to Uptown Charlotte Friday afternoon to hear from internationally known climate activist Greta Thunberg.
She’s the 16-year-old making waves across the world with her speeches.
Greta came to the city after connecting with local activist Mary Ellis Stevens. Stevens is a Myers Park High School freshman who skips school each Friday to hold climate strikes.
People swarmed the Government Center from 12 p.m.-2 p.m. Some students came with their schools, while others skipped school.
“I think it’s definitely worth it,” highschooler Jana Townsend said.
Mary Ellis Stevens spoke to explain why she started her strikes.
“I looked out at the world and imagined all we could change,” Stevens said. “I looked out at 4th street and imagined how silent traffic would be if we drove electric cars.”
Her dreams are inspired by Greta Thunberg.
“She has so much power in her voice in her message that it can make us all rise up and take action,” Townsend said.
Anger over policies not reflecting their concerns for the environment fuels them.
“They continue to ignore us and continue to ignore the best available science so we have no choice to go on for as long as it takes,” Thunberg said.
Local and state leaders joined the crowds to say enough is enough.
“It is important to remember this shouldn’t be an issue in the first place,” Stevens said.
Families brought young children to experience the strike, while others came to make their voices heard.
“No matter how bad the odds may be we will never give up because it’s simply not an option,” Thunberg said.
Stevens will keep spending Fridays at the Government Center for her strikes. She hopes more people will now join her.