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Lining city streets for climate strike

Hundreds of people gathered in the city centre on Friday to take part in a global climate strike.


There were strike events in at least 137 countries and trade unions and workers across the world joined in.


An estimated 200 people turned up at the market cross on Friday and formed a human chain and gave speeches on the climate change emergency and Extinction Rebellion Chichester was there to support them.


Many schools were represented, including Bishop Luffa, Chichester High, Free School, Jessie Younghusband, Chichester College and also Chichester University.


To draw attention to the climate and ecological emergency, from 10am to 4pm, on the hour, for one minute, there was a blast of noise from banging drums, saucepan lids, whistling, shakers and recordings of church bells, followed by speeches from attendees.


The young people spoke of their feelings about the climate and ecological emergency. Many were unscripted and heartfelt, drawing tears of sadness to laughter and joy.


One six-year-old girl said how we should plant more trees and another girl said “you shouldn’t be listening to me, but to the scientists”.


Even some self-described ‘wrinklies’ spoke of how we should be reducing our impact on our beautiful planet.


The atmosphere was more like a festival, so even though the subject matter was serious, the prevailing mood was joyous. Youngsters explained how they were scared, worried and angry at the legacy bequeathed them by preceding generations.


The variety of home-made placards showed the young people understood what the issues were. From one that said “Science isn’t lying, the planet is dying”, and another that said “Sorry for the fuss. Trying to save the planet”.


There was even a pink boat with a photo of Greta Thunberg at the helm.


The Red Rebel Beings, representing the blood of the species, also glided into the space while a recording was played of Greta Thunberg saying that “we are in an ecological and climate emergency”, that “we have to acknowledge that older generations have failed”, “but homo sapiens have not yet failed”.


Everyone was implored to “wake up”, “it is time for civil disobedience”, “it is time to rebel”.


Children also got involved with making badges, printing on clothes, poster-making and singing.


A choir sang rousing songs on the theme of the climate emergency.


Lucy Noble, of Extinction Rebellion Chichester, said: “Children are feeling very concerned about the climate and ecological emergency.


“Many of them are far more informed than the adults. It is their future. We must listen to them and persuade the Government to take the necessary action to keep the planet safe for their future.”

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