Almost 2,000 people took part in climate demonstrations in the Swiss cities of Basel, St Gallen and Lausanne on Friday, as thousands of other protestors from Africa to Asia joined marches calling for action on climate change.
Over 1,000 people took to the streets of Basel in northwestern Switzerland, including many young people.
“We must convince everyone now that we have to act in favour of the climate," one speaker told the crowds at the rally on Friday.
“The crisis concerns us all, whether we are from the right or the left.”
In St Gallen, in the northeast of the country, around 500 people, including many school children, marched in the city streets, criticizing the lack of action by Swiss politicians, banks and big business.
In French-speaking Lausanne, 200 climate activists from the Extinction Rébellion sat down blocking the Bessières bridge in the city centre on Friday morning. They urged the Federal Council to “tell the truth” about the critical climate situation. Police removed the protesters and reopened the bridge in the evening.
This is not the first action by a Swiss branch of the Extinction Rebellion group. On September 10, activists poured a harmless green dye into the river flowing through Zurich in protest at “the impending collapse of our ecosystem”.
On Friday, hundreds of thousands of people around the world took part in a global climate strike to demand that world leaders take urgent action to avert an environmental catastrophe.
Protests kicked off in the Pacific islands, followed by Australia, Japan, Southeast Asia and then on to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.
It is set to culminate in New York when 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg will spearhead a rally at the United Nations headquarters, where heads of government are due to gather for a climate summit next week.
On September 28, a national climate change demo is planned in the Swiss capital Bernexternal link.