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Climate change protest organised by schoolgirl, 5, sees kids and adults alike pile into square outside Hackney town hall

PUBLISHED: 09:44 28 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:44 28 May 2019

Children from Hackney demonstrate for action against climate change on the steps of Hackney town hall. Picture: Polly Hancock

Children from Hackney demonstrate for action against climate change on the steps of Hackney town hall. Picture: Polly Hancock

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A five-year-old schoolgirl organised a protest for action against climate change at Hackney town hall on Friday.

Children from Hackney demonstrate for action against climate change on the steps of Hackney town hall. Picture: Polly HancockChildren from Hackney demonstrate for action against climate change on the steps of Hackney town hall. Picture: Polly Hancock

Sunday Bunting, a Year 1 pupil at Gayhurst Community School, was helped by her family and classmates to arrange the demonstration after being inspired by the Extinction Rebellion protests last month.

Children and families from across the borough came together to protest after school.

Sunday said: "The climate is important.

"I want to stop us polluting and don't want to kill animals."

Children from Hackney are greeted by mayor Phil Glanville as they demonstrate for action against climate change on the steps of Hackney town hall. Picture: Polly HancockChildren from Hackney are greeted by mayor Phil Glanville as they demonstrate for action against climate change on the steps of Hackney town hall. Picture: Polly Hancock

The schoolgirl was "impressed, amazed, nervous and excited" by the crowd and hopes to continue to organise events.

Father Jude Bunting, 37, from London Fields, said: "It was her idea.

"She learned about the environment at school and started telling us about having to turn off the light.

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"We went to see the Extinction Rebellion protests and ever since she wanted to start own protest.

"She did it mostly through talking to people."

Sunday spoke in her school assembly and got her friends together to make posters and leaflets which the family distributed in shops and cafes in the area.

The protest spread through word of mouth and on social media.

Children from Hackney demonstrate for action against climate change on the steps of Hackney town hall. Pictured, organiser Sunday Bunting, five, from Gayhurst. Picture: Polly HancockChildren from Hackney demonstrate for action against climate change on the steps of Hackney town hall. Pictured, organiser Sunday Bunting, five, from Gayhurst. Picture: Polly Hancock

Orlanda Otley, 40, from London Fields, said: "The children understand that they have some power and it is the government's legacy they're going to have to deal with.

"The message there are things going wrong with the world, such as climate change and different species dying, is quite clear for them to grasp."

One child held up a homemade banner which said climate change was worse than homework and another held up a picture of Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist who has become a climate celebrity after starting the school strikes movement.

Mayor of Hackney Phil Glanville said: "We've gone from 15 students a couple of weeks ago to almost the town hall square half full.

"I'm very pleased we've got a community in Hackney that cares."

He suggested children talk about taking action in school councils and raised the possibility of a meeting in the town hall in the future.

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