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'This is just the first step' - pupils protest climate change

PUBLISHED: 15:48 15 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:22 15 February 2019

Young protesters hold up signs during the Youth Strike 4 Climate demonstration outside The Forum in Norwich

Young protesters hold up signs during the Youth Strike 4 Climate demonstration outside The Forum in Norwich

Archant

Hundreds of Norwich pupils spent the last day of the half term protesting for action over climate change.

Young protester holds up signs during the Youth Strike 4 Climate demonstration outside The Forum in NorwichYoung protester holds up signs during the Youth Strike 4 Climate demonstration outside The Forum in Norwich

Children from a number of Norwich schools made their way to The Forum at about 11.30am on Friday to chant, cheer and challenge the government about its reaction to climate change.

Parents, teachers and pupils came together with banners to highlight the impact that global warming will have on future generations, and the county itself.

Maeve Henderson, 13, from Norwich High School for Girls, was at the protest with her parents and said she felt more could be done.

“I have been thinking a lot about climate change and you can see that the world is melting,” she said.

Young protesters hold up signs during the Youth Strike 4 Climate demonstration outside The Forum in NorwichYoung protesters hold up signs during the Youth Strike 4 Climate demonstration outside The Forum in Norwich

“There are things going on that we can not control but the government can. What should be going towards making the world a better place is going towards weapons.

“This should be happening more often, not just once a month. We have people wanting to do it they just need a time to meet and people to listen.”

Jack Payne, 45, from Unthank Road, joined his three children at the protest.

He said: “The schools should have promoted the whole cause. There will be more direct action if we don’t get some sort of response from Theresa May.

Protest leader Florence Lonergan during the Youth Strike 4 Climate demonstration outside The Forum in NorwichProtest leader Florence Lonergan during the Youth Strike 4 Climate demonstration outside The Forum in Norwich

“This is just the first step, it can only get bigger and bigger.”

Protesters were joined by Norwich South MP Clive Lewis, who addressed the crowd.

He said: “I’m supporting the young protesters, I hope it gets bigger, better and larger.

“I’m immensely proud of them, what they have done today is really brave.

Clive Lewis MP has warned Labour resignations could lead to a longer Tory government. Photo: Neil PerryClive Lewis MP has warned Labour resignations could lead to a longer Tory government. Photo: Neil Perry

“They have taken a day out of their education to make a political point about the future of our environment, our economy and our future.”

Demonstration organiser Florence Longergan, 16, said: “We feel that the government isn’t taking enough notice and don’t realise that it is not going to affect the adults as much as it will affect us [young people].

“I’m really pleased with the amount of people who have come out, I didn’t think we would have this many.

“I thought we were going to have 10 people. The youth have a massive history of being passionate about a wide variety of issues and this is just another issue we don’t feel is being heard, like young people aren’t heard.”

Further protests are planed for March and April 15.

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