Hundreds upon hundreds of people have gathered in Derry city centre for the biggest Climate Strike rally ever staged in the city this afternoon (Friday)
School pupils and other young people led the demonstration as they gathered in the sunshine this afternoon before packing into Guildhall Square, many of them with home made placards carrying environmental messages.
The secondary and primary pupils were joined by adults from right across the city, including a wide spectrum of local politicians.
Among the young organisers who addressed those gathered was student Rois Hutton.
She told those gathered: “We are here today together because we care a hell of a lot about our planet. Today a number of parties, groups and individuals have come together as a collective in order to make a start here in Derry and on an even grander scale to make a start with the organisations that control our every day lives. Those are the people we must target. Those are the people we must shout and scream at over and over again until they make the radical quick changes in their businesses so that we can ensure the survival of the human race.”
To cheers, she added that instead of investing into deforestation in the Amazon and drilling into the Arctic, those billions should be spent in new green deals and renewable energy sources.
Fellow organiser Emma Farren said that this time the strike was very different form the five much smaller previous strikes staged by the young protesters, because adults too had taken a stand alongside the youth of the region. “Your attendance, this changes everything,” she said. “We knew without you adults’ support we were never going to achieve our goals. When we young people strike its inconvenient sand it’s also quite annoying but let’s be honest life goes on and its business as usual.. but when you strike society feels the difference, the world stands still. We need you to stand with us.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we don’t need a crystal ball to see what the future holds for people affected by climate change because it is happening right now. All we have to do is switch on the news and see men, women and children, all of whose lives have been devastated by climate change. I know you are standing with us because you do care. You care about the earth, you care about the environment, you care deeply about your descendents. Tough times are ahead, and we are all going to need each other to weather the storm.