Tens of thousands of people have been demonstrating in thirteen towns across Switzerland calling for more action on climate change.
The initiative was called by students, but people of all ages turned out despite cold weather on Saturday, carrying banners with messages such as "trees instead of cars", “we want clean lungs” and “has your brain already melted?”
Police said 10,000 people took part in Lausanne, and between 8,000 and 10,000 in Zurich. Four thousand were reported in Geneva, 4,000 in Basel, 2,500 in Fribourg, 2,000 in Bern, 2,000 in Lucerne, and more in other towns.
The demonstrators want climate change to be recognized as a crisis and for the Swiss government to act accordingly. They are calling, for example, for Switzerland to stop emitting greenhouse gases by 2030.
The movement is non-partisan, Fribourg organizer and first-year university student Léo Tinguely told the Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA, “even if political support is welcome”.
Two weeks ago, 22,000 school students across Switzerland went on strike over climate change. Their movement was inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, the Swedish youth activist who recently caused a stir at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.