2019 Was the Year of Protest

From New York to Hong Kong to India, i-D traveled the world to document those who took to the streets in support of climate, abortion rights, government laws, and more.

by i-D Staff
30 December 2019, 4:52am

While there have been youth-led political movements throughout history, young people took to the streets in record numbers this year to advocate for the causes they are passionate about.We saw the global climate strike movement take hold as Greta Thunberg's Fridays for Future spread from Sweden to the rest of the world. i-D was there to document the strikes in London, Melbourne, and New York City, as millions of young people demanded that politicians protect the planet for future generations.

In the same year, Nigerian youth advocated for a more progressive political regime, activists in Northern Ireland lead a strike for abortion rights, and in Hong Kong, teens joined the ongoing strikes and demonstrations for greater political freedom. Thankfully, these young people are the future, and for that reason we think it looks pretty bright.


In 2018, the Not To Young To Run bill was passed in Nigeria which reduced the age limit to run for elected office. The country's election in February marked the first time this law was put to use and it has since opened doors for more young people to challenge the country’s political structure in hopes for a more progressive government.


The youth climate strike was inspired and largely started by 16-year-old activist and i-D cover star Greta Thunberg, who founded Fridays For Future in Sweden. Strikes have since taken place worldwide. In March, students in London joined in the call for climate justice and here's what they had to say.


Over the last few days, people across India have come on the streets and started a powerful movement in order to protest the recent passing of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019. And even though the government claims the purpose is to protect persecuted minorities, the anger is palpable, and the marches and slogans voice the very fear that there are discriminatory and unconstitutional undertones to CAA, especially towards the Muslim minority.


On the very same day, teens across Australia left the classroom and picked up protest signs to join in the global climate strike. "It’s time to stop focusing just on present day, we need to think past the current generation and start thinking of the future generations to come," 18-year-old activist Fatima says.

New York

Likewise, i-D was there to document the thousands of students in New York City who skipped school to strike. They may be too young too vote, but they demand politicians take climate action to save our planet before it's too late.

From Uganda to Tokyo

For The Voice of A Generation issue, i-D photographed the leaders of the global climate strike from Mexico City to Mumbai. Here's what these inspiring voices had to say about their cause.

New York

This wasn't the first time hundreds of young people gathered outside the United Nations in New York to strike for climate action, but this poignant moment occurred as violent flames engulfed the Amazon Rainforest. It also marked the first time activist Greta Thunberg joined her peers in the streets after her journey across the Atlantic.


The Rally for Choice brought together activists from all over Northern Ireland, holding signs and banners, and united in their demand for one thing, a woman's right to choose.

Hong Kong

Millions of protestors took to the streets of Hong Kong in June to advocate for their freedom, and the series of strikes are largely ongoing. The photos aren't about style, but instead focuses on the idea of clothing as protection and a way to keep safe during these moments.

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.