Many in the United Kingdom are leaving schools and workers downing tools as part of a global “climate strike” day. British cities including Glasgow, Manchester, and London, urging “climate justice”.
Students, workers, and businesses were encouraged to let off alarms across the country at 13:00 BST. Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said their voices were “being heard”. However, he said he could not “endorse children leaving school” to take part.
The campaign coordinator Jake Woodier, at UK Student Climate Network, said: “We understand it’s simply not feasible for many employees to take a day off to participate in a strike, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a voice.”
Demonstrations have also been organized in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Brighton, Newcastle, Bournemouth, and Birmingham. He said: “They, the government, don’t understand that we’re going to go through it and they are not.”
Sohan, 8, and Nayan, 5 who belonged from south-east London joined protesters with their mother, Celine. Sohan said: “We want to save our planet and we hope that marching will help.”
The 16-year-old student Jessica Ahmed emailed her school to war that she would be joining the protests instead of being in class. “If politicians were taking the appropriate action we need – and had been taking this action a long time ago when it was recognized the world was changing in a negative way – then I would not have to be skipping school,” said Miss Ahmed from Barnet, north London.
The headteacher of the school said that the school will take part because “climate change is clearly a big issue” and “children need to know that they have a right to democratic protest”. One Extinction Rebellion activist, Lorraine Montague from County Tyrone, was dressed as a swan to highlight the threat of climate change to wildlife.
“Our climate is at crisis point and the government is not doing anything about it. We have to support the young people, they are the ones who started this strike,” she said.
“We are grieving for our future. I don’t feel happy about having children the way our climate is going.”