Students join activist Greta Thunberg in Charlotte for climate action strike

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Greta Thunberg, the teenage environmental activist from Sweden, was in Charlotte Friday for an ongoing climate action strike, WSOC reports.

The climate action strike at Myers Park High School was led by student Mary Ellis Stevens.

Thunberg gave a speech at the UN Climate Action Summit in September.

The speech drew both support and criticism and inspired teens like Stevens to hold weekly rallies.

Stevens has been rallying at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center every Friday since Thunberg gave her speech in September.

She says she messaged Thunberg, asked her if she would like to join the Charlotte protest and Thunberg said yes while Stevens was in class.

“I definitely had to pinch myself,” Stevens said. “I was in the middle of biology and I remember nothing from that class because I was so incredibly excited.”

Hundreds of kids were reportedly at the rally to support the movement and listen to Thunberg's speech even though Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools didn't allow unexcused absences for those who wanted to attend.

“There is not enough time to wait for us to grow up and become the ones in charge because we need to tackle the climate and ecological emergency right now,” Thunberg said.

She has been striking for 31 weeks as of Friday's rally.

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