LONDON, Feb 15 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Saying adults were not doing enough to deal with increasingly serious threats from climate change, thousands of schoolchildren across Britain missed classes and packed protests Friday, demanding faster action to protect their future.
“We will go back to school when you make the climate cool,” read one homemade sign in London’s Parliament Square, one of more than 60 protest locations across the country, organizers of the Youth 4 Climate strike said.
Young protesters – some in their school uniforms – whistled, chanted, waved signs and for a time blocked traffic outside Parliament, climbing on top of a red doubledecker tourist bus to demand, “Change! Now!”
Orla de Wardener, 10, said she had been inspired by the example of Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old student whose regular Friday protests outside Sweden’s parliament have led to a spreading international school strike movement.
After reading about Thunberg in a children’s science magazine, “I was totally enthralled with her. She’s amazing,” said de Wardener, a student at Weston Park Primary School near Finsbury Park in north London.
Adults, she said, do not act on climate change because “they’re involved with their money and their work. They don’t care,” said de Wardener, who sported a polar bear hat and a hand-colored sign reading, “Your failure, our future.”
Politicians, she said, “have had their life. They don’t see much point in fighting for the future.”
Her classmate, 9-year-old Iris Adderley, said she was worried about the quickening pace of extinctions in nature, and the risks of sea level rise, including flooding in Britain.
“Adults just don’t think about it enough,” she said.
Nora Mackay, 15, a student at Graveney School in Tooting, south London, said her school’s administration had discouraged students from attending the protest, “but everyone is here anyway,” she said.
“My parents said go on the march. The
Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World