Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg told a crowd of thousands of striking schoolchildren and adults in the British city of Bristol Friday that young people "will not be silenced" in demanding action from leaders.
Speaking at the Youth Strike 4 Climate event, Thunberg, 17, excoriated adult political leaders for inaction on climate change and said it should not be the responsibility of the young to implement change.
"World leaders are behaving like children, so it falls on us to be the adults in the room," she said. "It should not be this way, we should not be the ones to have to lead on this and tell the uncomfortable truths.
"Once again they sweep their mess under the rug for us young people, for their children, to clean up for them."
Organizers estimated 30,000 people from across Britain, many of them students skipping school with the tacit approval of their teachers, attended the rally despite rain and muddy conditions.
"This is an emergency," said Thunberg to chants of "Greta, Greta."
"People are already suffering and dying from the consequences of the climate and environmental emergency. But it will get worse, and still, this emergency is being completely ignored by the politicians, the media and those in power. Basically, nothing is being done to halt this crisis despite all the beautiful words and promises from our elected officials.
"We will not be silenced," she said, "because we are the change and change is coming whether you like it or not."
The Swedish environmental crusader arrived in Bristol by train and was taken to the rally in a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle with a police escort.