Greta Thunberg takes weekly climate strike action online
By Emily Chudy, PA
School strikes led by climate activist Greta Thunberg have taken to Twitter rather than the streets due to coronavirus concerns.
Ahead of her usual weekly school strikes to raise awareness of climate change, the 17-year-old told her followers to avoid large gatherings and instead campaign online.
Hundreds of young demonstrators posted photos of themselves using the hashtag #ClimateStrikeOnline to show they had missed school.
She tweeted: "In crisis we change our behaviour and adapt to the new circumstances for the greater good of society."
Swedish activist Isabelle Axelsson posted a photo of herself holding a climate strike poster, saying: "In the face of the the novel coronavirus pandemic it is important that we all take care of ourselves and others and reduce risk.
"That is why I am joining the Fridays For Future digital strike."
Isabelle told the PA news agency: "Because many people are at risk from the Covid-19 disease it is important that we listen to the science and advice from experts and avoid big crowds that would increase risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.
"Striking online for us is a way to still take part in our activism without putting ourselves and others at risk of getting sick."
She added: "It is important that we always continue to speak about the climate crisis no matter what, because the climate crisis will continue until we take proper action.
"We have to continue to put pressure on politicians and people in power."
Greta said on Twitter: "We young people are the least affected by this virus but it's essential that we act in solidarity with the most vulnerable and that we act in the best interest of our common society."
While some other countries including Italy have discouraged people meeting in large groups, the UK Government has not yet recommended avoiding crowds.