But one lorry which was brought to a stop became a stage for the young protesters.
Demonstrators hold placards and shout slogans during the "Fridays for Future" movement on a global day of student protests aimed at sparking world leaders into action on climate change, in Madrid on March 15.
The Swedish teenager - who on her Twitter page describes herself as "a 16-year-old climate activist with Asperger [syndrome]" - first staged a school strike for the climate in front of the Swedish parliament in August last year. "But more importantly, we are leading the movement in changing public will".
"We have 11 years to avoid a catastrophic climate change", said Hirisi.
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"If you think that we should be in school (rather than out on the streets protesting) then we suggest that you should take our place in the streets, striking from your work, or better yet join us so we can speed up the process".
Hochman: I was raised around activism; my parents took me to protests when I was a kid and I went to big climate protest in New York City when I was in seventh grade.
Organizers expect anywhere from a few hundred a few thousand students could converge on Portland's City Hall to march, speak and ask leaders to support legislation to fight climate change.
The Guardian is also providing 24 hours of live coverage of the global student strikes as they travel across countries and time zones.
In 2015, world leaders agreed in Paris to a goal of keeping the Earth's global temperature rise by the end of the century well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared with pre-industrial times.
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Hochman: I want to show the country and the world that young people are going to keep taking a stand - keep showing up - until we can start ending climate change.
A United Nations report released this week blames climate change, population growth, pesticides, plastics pollution and water contaminated with hormone-changing chemicals for killing millions of people every year. Almost 100 schools are expected to participate, Thunberg said on Twitter.
In Germany, environmental groups and experts have criticized government plansto continue using coal and natural gas for decades to come.
"The University of Malta student council shall be rallying students and youths in Malta to participate in this Friday's global students4climate strikes".
That conversation is likely to get louder, with several USA presidential hopefuls planning to campaign on climate change.
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"I have always felt like I needed to do something", said Anna Siegel, a 7th grader at Friends School of Portland who helped organize the Portland rally.