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Thousands of young people walk out of lessons in protest at political inaction over climate crisis

School pupils call for radical climate action in UK-wide strike, Guardian, Matthew TaylorSandra Laville , Amy Walker , Poppy Noor and Jon Henley16 Feb 2019

Thousands of young people walk out of lessons in protest at political inaction over crisis 
Thousands of schoolchildren and young people have walked out of classes to join a UK-wide climate strike amid growing anger at the failure of politicians to tackle the escalating ecological crisis.Organisers said more than 10,000 young people in at least 60 towns and cities from the Scottish Highlands to Cornwall joined the strike, defying threats of detention to voice their frustration at the older generation’s inaction on the environmental impact of climate change.Anna Taylor, 17, one of the most prominent voices to emerge from the new movement, said the turnout had been overwhelming. “It goes some way to proving that young people aren’t apathetic, we’re passionate, articulate and we’re ready to continue demonstrating the need for urgent and radical climate action.”

Organisers estimated around 3,000 schoolchildren and young people gathered in London, with 2,000 in Oxford, 1,000 each in Exeter and Leeds and several hundred in Brighton, Bristol, Sheffield and Glasgow.

In London, the protesters held banners and chanted as police and onlookers watched. They blocked the roads outside parliament chanting “Turn off your engines” at passing cars, and “We want the chance for change now” before mounted police moved them away. There were three arrests in London in connection with the protests. A 19-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl were arrested for obstructing the highway, and a 17-year-old boy for a public order offence.

In Manchester, hundreds gathered outside the Central Library before marching to the Royal Northern College of Music with signs reading “Climate over capitalism” and chanting “Whose future? Our future.”

Matt Sourby, 18, said his journey from Queen Elizabeth school in Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria, was worth it: “This is our future and this is making a difference. The government has to listen. I feel incredibly powerful just being here.”

The protests won the backing of a former UN climate chief, who said it was “time to heed the deeply moving voice of youth”.

Christiana Figueres, who led the historic 2015 Paris agreement, said the fact that children were so worried about their future they were prepared to strike should make adults sit up and take notice.

“It is a sign that we are failing in our responsibility to protect them from the worsening impacts of climate change,” she said.

The school strike movement started in August when Greta Thunberg, then 15, held a solo protest outside the Swedish parliament. Now, up to 70,000 schoolchildren each week hold protests in 270 towns and cities worldwide.

On Friday, tens of thousands marched again, some for the sixth week in succession, through towns and cities across Europe.

For the first time up to 1,000 pupils demonstrated in Paris chanting “Don’t go breaking my earth” and “One, two, three degrees – a crime against humanity”.

In Berlin, a large crowd gathered for the sixth week in a row. “We’re here now because we want to be able to be here in 50 years’ time,” read one banner……….

Thunberg hit back at the Conservative government, saying on Twitter that political leaders had wasted 30 years by not taking action against climate change. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/15/uk-climate-change-strike-school-pupils-children-environment-protest

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February 16, 2019 - Posted by | climate change, UK

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