Schools step out to join Global Climate Strike

September 30 2019
Schools step out to join Global Climate Strike

MORE than 1,000 children in the area took part in protests outside their schools as part of the Global Climate Strike.

The youngsters from primary and secondary schools were joined by staff, parents and grandparents for a number of events as part of the worldwide event on September 20.

The schools taking part included Begbrook, Glenfrome, May Park and Redfield Educate Together primary schools.

Begbrook Primary Academy parent Harriet Williams helped organise the demonstrations.

She said: "We were blown away by the response! It was overwhelmingly positive, way more people turned up than we expected and several parents have told me since how much they appreciated the opportunity to take a stand on climate change, and moreover realise how many other local families want to see action on this just as much.

"The children really made their voices heard – at Begbrook they took control of the event, with colourful placards and marching. From the messages they gave, it is clear that even young children know what causes climate change and how it can be fixed.

Glenfrome Primary School's eco rep Sophie Bonner said parents and pupils gathered from about 8am before staging a procession into the school.



Protests outside Glenfrome Primary School


She said: "A parent contacted me over the summer saying there was a group of parents that were keen to get something going for the climate so I spoke to the Eco Council and other teachers spoke to their classes too.

"We ran a banner making workshop in the playground on the Tuesday beforehand and I sent texts out to parents.

"People brought banners, shakers, a saxophone and other noisy things and lots of the passing cars beeped their support."

Around 100 children, 50 parents and five staff, including head teacher Inger O'Callaghan, took part.

Sophie said: "The children have been very involved and are always keen to talk about and support climate-related issues. They are very aware of the damage being done to the planet and changes we can make to help."

For their protest that afternoon, around 180 children from Redfield Educate Together marched on the pavement up Church Road to St George Park, where they handed out leaflets.

At May Park, children, parents, carers and staff took part in a 'youth strike' in the morning, with some meeting at Bellevue Park after school to continue the day of action.

Children at Begbrook were joined by Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy, who said: "I think it’s fantastic that young people are so passionate about this issue. It’s their future that’s at stake, and I entirely understand their frustration at the lack of political action.

"I’m glad that both Parliament and Bristol City Council have now declared a climate emergency. If we don’t take radical action now – globally, nationally and also at a very local level - it will soon be too late to prevent the worst consequences of climate change or to reverse the destruction of our precious natural resources.”