Demonstrators move through the streets of central London campaigning for ambitious action to tackle climate change on Sunday.

Demonstrators move through the streets of central London campaigning for ambitious action to tackle climate change on Sunday.

Worldwide climate rallies draw hundreds of thousands

PARIS — Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in rallies around the world on Sunday, calling on leaders to halt climate change on the eve of a major conference in Paris.

An organizer of the rallies, Avaaz, said that early estimates of marchers around the globe show 570,000 people marched in 175 countries.

Here are some of the rallies that took place in Europe on Sunday.

Paris

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in central Paris and formed a human chain along the route of a long-planned protest march that was banned by the French government in a security crackdown following the Nov. 13 Paris attacks. Nearby, thousands of shoes, some decorated, were placed at the Place de la Republique to symbolize the many feet that could not march because of the ban.

But violence erupted as the day progressed with several hundred people, some of them masked, throwing objects at riot police blockading the square in a bid to break through, and desecrating a memorial made of flowers and candles for the 130 victims of the attacks.

Spain

Thousands of people took to the streets of several Spanish cities to demand a commitment from world leaders to halt climate change in what organizers are calling the largest pro-environment mobilization in Spain to date.

Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace both said around 20,000 protesters marched between Cibeles and Puerta del Sol in Madrid, while thousands also marched through cities such as Barcelona, Bilbao, Las Palmas, Murcia, Pamplona, Seville, Valladolid and Zaragoza.

“Well, to be honest we don’t expect much (from the politicians). That’s why we are here,” said Incarnacion Florin. “We have to do something. It must make a difference.”

London

Thousands of people marched through London, urging world leaders not to blow their chance to take strong action on climate change.

Actress Emma Thompson, designer Vivienne Westwood and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn are among demonstrators urging politicians to strike a binding agreement at climate talks in Paris.

Thompson said that climate change is now “the issue of the 21st century.”

Germany

About 4,000 people held a rally in the German capital, marching from Berlin’s train station to the Brandenburg Gate to listen to speeches and music.

“I hope that there is a climate agreement that really helps, but I fear actually that the countries and government leaders will only agree to something that won’t help, primarily a weak agreement that will not help the living conditions on this planet,” said Dr. Anton Hofreiter, member of the Green Party in Germany’s parliament.

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