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.”
Axelsson 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.”
Thunberg 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.”
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?