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Meet the Climbing Kids: 8- & 11-Year-Old Siblings Who Rappel from Bridge Demanding Climate Action

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As hundreds of thousands marched to the main stage during Friday’s climate march in Madrid, two young children — a brother and sister aged 8 and 11 — staged an act of civil disobedience from a bridge overlooking the protest. While demonstrators marched beneath them, the two children rappelled from an overpass, dangling from ropes in mid-air to hang a banner calling for climate action. Democracy Now! briefly spoke to them after their action.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: As hundreds of thousands marched to the main stage, an unusual action took place above them. Democracy Now! was there.

AMY GOODMAN: Two young people are dangling from a bridge about 30 feet apart from each other, wearing helmets and backpacks dangling from their waists, 30 feet apart from each other, about 50 feet above the ground, with a rope between them. They have just unfurled a banner that says “Just 8 years till 1.5 degrees centigrade. How dare you? @Kletterkinder.” Online, it’s explained: “We are 8 and 11 years old. When we’re adults, it’ll be too late to stop the #ClimateCrisis. That’s why we’re the climbing kids. #Kletterkinder #FridaysForFuture.”

Right now the 8-year-old girl has just climbed down, and her 11-year-old brother is climbing. They’ve been climbing all of their lives. Their parents are security climbers. Their father said to me, “Climbing is safe. Climate change is not.” Can you tell us your name?

KIWI: And so we have just started to learn English, so we have prepared a small statement.

AMY GOODMAN: OK. Why don’t you share that statement with us?

ZOZO: Hello. We are the climbing kids. We are here in Madrid at the climate summit.

KIWI: In eight years, the CO2 budget for 1.5 degrees will be used up. In just eight years. What we need is massive action to stop the climate crisis. And we need it now. What we see here at the climate summit is a lot of nice talking but no real action. With every delay, there will be more people dying and more ecosystems collapsing. How dare you!

AMY GOODMAN: Yes, those were the climate kids, 11-year-old Kiwi and his 8-year-old sister Zozo. The day before their protest, a Twitter account for the children, named @Kletterkinder, or ClimbingChildren, tweeted, quote, “But isn’t this dangerous? Small kids climbing to hang a banner? No it isn’t. The #ClimateCrisis is dangerous,” it said. The Kletterkinder aren’t new to climbing for the climate. They have also staged protests in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and at a Fridays for Future demonstration in Aachen, Germany.

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