Mon 28 September 2020

By Ross Morris

Student climate protestors came out en masse in central London this Friday, 24 May, to demand government action on climate catastrophe.

Young people were striking from schools and universities all around the world, with an estimated 1.6 million on strike in over 100 countries.

In the UK, student climate strike organisations at LSE and UCL staged marches from their respective campuses to Parliament Square.

The UCL march, which began on Malet Street and continued through Holborn and down The Strand, disrupted traffic and caused a commotion in Central London. Featuring a samba band as well as a sound system that blasted songs by Kendrick Lemar and Skepta, the march attracted encouragement from many onlookers.

Protestors from UCL held creative placards with slogans, such as “Climate Change is Class War” and “Melt My Heart, Not My Planet.”

In Parliament Square, youth climate protestors covered the green and blocked most of the roads around it. They played Reggae music and shouted over megaphones: “What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? NOW!”

Many of the loud, transient masses passed on through Parliament Square, towards Downing Street where they chanted at the outgoing prime minister. Multiple passing drivers honked in support of the protestors who had momentarily brought traffic to a standstill.

They continued up to Trafalgar Square, where hundreds of school children occupied the base of Nelson column. Here kids chanted “Where the f*ck is the government” to the tune of The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army.

Elsewhere in the UK, students went on strike in Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Leeds and many other UK cities.

As climate action intensifies around the world, Greta Thunberg, the influential Swedish teenage activist, has called for a general climate strike.

“Starting on Friday 20 September we will kickstart a week of climate action with a worldwide strike for climate,” she and 46 youth activists wrote in The Guardian.

“We’re asking adults to step up alongside us… Let’s all join together, with your neighbours, co-workers, friends, family and go out on to the streets to make your voices heard and make this a turning point in our history.”

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