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Norwich schools urged by activists to let students skip class for climate protest

PUBLISHED: 17:12 06 March 2019 | UPDATED: 18:53 06 March 2019

Dr Rupert Read from Extinction Rebellion makes speech during the Youth Strike 4 Climate demonstration outside The Forum in Norwich

Dr Rupert Read from Extinction Rebellion makes speech during the Youth Strike 4 Climate demonstration outside The Forum in Norwich

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Norwich schools have been urged to allow pupils to have the day off to take part in a protest over climate change.

Students all over the world plan to walk out of school on March 15, in order to demand action on climate change.

And with an event planned outside The Forum, in Norwich, a group called the Precautionary Principle - led by UEA philosophy lecturer and Green Party politician Dr Rupert Read - has published an open letter to the city’s schools.

The letter said City of Norwich School had allowed pupils, with parents’ permission, to attend a previous protest on February 15. And the group hoped other schools would follow their example.

They said: “Climate chaos is only becoming more prevalent in our everyday lives, with the latest example being the breaking of UK winter temperature records last month.

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

“The scientific evidence of the reality of human-caused dangerous climate change can be seen scarily in our plant’s polar regions with temperatures increasing by over 4C over the last 100 years.”

It added: “The Precautionary Principle begs you to be safe rather than sorry. It’s only reasonable and prudent to support these students in [this] exceptional cause, calling for our politicians and all those in power to take the coming climate catastrophe seriously and start to address its causes seriously. If this isn’t done, then these students won’t have a future.”

Students from a number of Norwich schools attended the last protest, and were joined by Labour MP for Norwich South Clive Lewis.

Demonstration organiser Florence Longergan, 16, said last month: “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].”

Youth Strike 4 Climate demonstration outside The Forum in NorwichYouth Strike 4 Climate demonstration outside The Forum in Norwich

The action is part of a much wider global movement, know as Schools 4 Climate Action. It started when 15-year-old Greta Thunberg started skipping school in Sweden in September, instead sitting outside government buildings accusing her country of not following the Paris Climate Agreement.

Since then, tens of thousands of children have been inspired to hold their own demonstrations.

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