‘Young people want things to change’: Stoke Newington School pupils join the international school strike for climate movement
- Credit: Rebecca Sewell
“The earth is dying but it’s grown ups who are making decisions that won’t affect them.”
Lilith Silver, aged 11, was one of a hundred children from Stoke Newington School who skipped classes on Friday in a fierce protest at the government’s lack of action over climate change.
They joined thousands of others in Parliament Square for the School Strike for Climate, which saw more than 60 actions taking place across the UK attended by 15,000 people.
Inspiration came from Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl, who decided to stop going to school last summer to picket outside the Swedish parliament instead, pushing for legislation to reduce carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. She has sparked a growing international movement of students who - rather than attending classes - are taking part in demonstrations to demand action to prevent further global warming and climate change.
“I think the protest will work because it showed people how many young people want things to change,” said an optimistic Charlie Gask, one of Lilith’s class mates.
“It was really good to share our thoughts and opinions and be in a large, friendly crowd of like minded people,” he added.
Along with his mates he has already made plans to join in the next national “strike” on March 15.
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“It’s important we keep up the momentum and show politicians we won’t just let things stay as they are,” he said.
“I wanted to be a part of the protest with everyone else,” added Jocelyn Goldstein . “Climate change is an issue that we need to deal with fast and we need to show our government that we care for our planet. We want our government to stop burning fossil fuels.”
She found it “amazing” to see so many young people coming out last week to show their support for stopping climate change.
“Everyone was very enthusiastic and lively, shouting and chanting together,” she said.
“Me and my friends stood next to a statue of Nelson Mandela and chanted really loudly to show how much we care.
“I am very hopeful that we can make this planet better. There were so many people and next time there will be even more. We are going on strike again on March 15th. Please join us.”