HUNDREDS of students took to the streets of Stratford today to plead for action against climate change.
Some 400 young people from schools across the county marched around the town in solidarity with other ‘Youth Strike 4 Climate’ groups across the country.
The event was inspired by Swedish 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, who held a solo protest outside her country’s parliament last summer.
Children as young as four turned out along with their parents.
Protester Ricky Cooke was among those leading the chants.
The 17-year-old told the Observer: “There’s a real ignorance and apathy. All we want is for people in the world to have an awareness and to do something about it.
“We want politicians to put legislation in place to make sure we’re not abusing and misusing this planet. We’ve only got one.
“How stupid would we be to destroy the one planet we have? And yet politicians think if we put hands over our eyes and our heads in the sand nothing will ever go wrong. It’s not true.
“When us 17-year-olds have to take time out of school to come here and shout about it in the street, it means it’s long overdue.”
Another student said being too young to vote meant peaceful protest was their only way of voicing their concerns.
A third added: “People think because we’re young we’re trying to get out of school, that we’re immature. We’re being forced to skip school to think about our future.
“The overwhelming majority supported us. It was really nice to see people supporting our generation trying to make a change.”
Others who turned up to support the strike included Green Party candidate Dave Passingham.
He said: “I think it’s fantastic school children have taken this action and it’s very important to do something about climate change because it is an emergency which is arising.
“I think the children are very brave to come out of school. Even though we don’t want them to lose too much school, it’s important that their voice is heard because it’s their future.”
Visit www.schoolstrike4climate.com for more information.