Activists in 20 Russian cities to join global climate strike on September 27
The Russian branch of Fridays for Future, a movement of schoolchildren demanding action on the climate crisis, has announced marches, pickets, and opportunities for individual protest in a number of Russian cities on Friday, September 27. That day marks the closing of the mass global climate strikes that began on September 20 and have taken place in more than 150 countries.
According to an updated list from Greenpeace Russia, the total number of cities participating in Russia’s strikes is 20, with another mass picket in Saratov still undergoing negotiations for a permit from local authorities.
Twelve cities from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad will hold legal group protests. In St. Petersburg and six other cities, activists will take turns picketing individually because local officials have not granted them permits for group protests.
In Moscow, similar “individual pickets” will begin in the afternoon. On the morning of September 27, however, a group of activists from Greenpeace, Fridays for Future, Extinction Rebellion, 350.org, the Russian Social-Ecological Union, and the Climate Action Network are planning a “creative protest action” in a Moscow stadium. That action appears to be aimed primarily at garnering media attention through photographs and videos.
In recent months, Moscow authorities have increasingly granted permits to opposition protesters only for locations that offer little public visibility. That has left Russia’s Fridays for Future movement to grow outside the capital, with youth activists regularly meeting on Fridays to hold pickets. Moscow activists have occasionally agreed to less visible group protests but have increasingly preferred daily individual pickets in central locations.
On September 23, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed an order ratifying the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate. However, experts continue to rate Russia’s climate commitments as “critically insufficient” to hold average global temperatures below catastrophic levels.
Russian-language media coverage of climate issues, which had been very limited even in independent outlets, rose following the opening of the 2019 UN Climate Summit and particularly following Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s address at the event. Among Russian-speaking social media users, the reception of Thunberg’s speech was largely negative.