Schoolchildren protesting in Belfast over climate change warn time for action is running out

A passionate crowd of school children have demonstrated in Belfast to demand action on climate change.

The small but vocal gathering of primary and secondary pupils made their voices heard as they held aloft home-made signs and chanted outside City Hall.

The environmental protest was one of a series of co-ordinated events taking place in 60 towns and cities as young people left their classrooms to make their point on global warming.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Pupils from Methodist College Belfast took part in the protest (Brian Lawless/PA)</figcaption>
Pupils from Methodist College Belfast took part in the protest (Brian Lawless/PA)

Maia Willis-Reddick, a 17-year-old student at Belfast’s Methodist College, said time for action is running out.

“We are protesting against the Government for their ignorance of the problem of climate change,” she said.

“We have 12 years before this becomes an international disaster, and before those 12 years we need drastic action to take place in order to reduce carbon emissions for the entirety of the UK, the entirety of the world.”

Maia said her school had been supportive of her and her classmates’ desire to protest.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Megan Hoyt joined the protest with her four children (David Young/PA)</figcaption>
Megan Hoyt joined the protest with her four children (David Young/PA)

“Us leaving school means we show we value the climate the same as we value our education,” she said.

“We are still very conscious about school. I have A-levels, I have stuff to do, we just want to make the point that we are willing to take drastic action in order to highlight the problems of climate change.”

Megan Hoyt, from north Belfast, accompanied her four children – Finn, Penny, Aisling and Isabelle – to the protest at City Hall.

She said: “We are here today because we think it’s time for political action.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Rachel Agnew and her two young children came to the protest armed with placards (David Young/PA)</figcaption>
Rachel Agnew and her two young children came to the protest armed with placards (David Young/PA)

“Personal responsibility can only take us so far. We’ve got our reusable coffee cups, and we’ve got our paper straws, and we are vegetarians and all those kind of things, but personal responsibility can only take us so far and now is the time for political leadership.

“People are angry and we are ready for something and it could be such a great moment for a new kind of politics.

“We are here to show there are people who want a change.”

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>The protest was one of several being staged by school children across Britain (Brian Lawless/PA)</figcaption>
The protest was one of several being staged by school children across Britain (Brian Lawless/PA)

Rachel Agnew, from Broughshane, Co Antrim, attended with son Archie, eight, and daughter Bea, five, who are both pupils at Broughshane Primary School.

She said: “We have come along because I would like a future for my children, a future where we have clean energy resources.

“We want planet earth to be here and we want a future, that’s what’s important.”

- Press Association

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