MONTREAL/THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Teenage activist Greta Thunberg hit back at critics including U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday, saying their mockery of children shows her message has become “too loud to handle”.
The 16-year-old Swede also told a huge Montreal rally that world leaders had disappointed young people with empty words and inadequate plans.
“Today we are millions around the world, striking and marching again, and we will keep on doing it until they listen,” Thurnberg told a crowd that organizers estimated to be about half a million people in the Canadian city.
Trump mocked Thunberg this week and Canadian Member of Parliament Maxime Bernier called her alarmist and mentally unstable.
“I guess they must feel like their world view or their interests or whatever… is threatened by us. We’ve become too loud for people to handle so they try to silence us,” she told reporters before the rally. “We should also take that as a compliment.”
On Friday, the climate strikes she inspired started in Asia and continued in Europe after similar strikes a week earlier. Tens of thousands of students kicked things off in New Zealand.
About 500 students in the South Korean capital, Seoul, urged more government action to address climate change, marching towards the presidential Blue House after a downtown rally, where they said the government gets an “F” in climate action.
Thousands of Dutch children also skipped school to join a global climate strike on Friday, blocking traffic and asking their leaders “how dare you?” in a reference to Thunberg’s speech at the United Nations.
Matthew McMillan, 22, a mechanical engineering student at Montreal’s Concordia University, held a “Make America Greta Again” poster as he joined other students at the protest.
“I think it is the most important event of our generation,” he said.