Pupils from schools across the Island joined a ‘climate change protest’ walk to add their backing in trying to save the planet from further pollution and destruction, before it is too late.
Students from many schools were were spotted, including The Bay School in Sandown, Cowes Academy and Lanesend Primary in Cowes, the Island Free School in Ventnor, and from Newport, Christ the King College and and Newport C of E Primary. They were joined by representatives from other groups including Amnesty International, Frack Free Island and Extinction Rebellion with their silent Red Rebels, who moved through the crowd with slow, meditative movements.
Nicola Scivier from Newport Primary School was attending with all the pupils from years 3 and 4, whose curriculum this year is focused on the environment and how they can make a difference. She explained why they had attended, saying: “They should be in school, but we’ve done a lot of work and they agree that it’s more important that we give them their future.”
Veteran environmental campaigner Hugh Waldren was pleased to see so many young people present, saying that in his view it was ‘self-evident’ why people had turned out, adding: “We’ve only got one planet, and if we muck it up there’s nowhere to go.”
Alfie Pettifer, 15, from The Bay School, spoke eloquently to the crowds and was very pleased with the turnout, but afterwards admitted that he had been very nervous. He said: “I reiterated an important speech from Greta Thunberg. I think she gets the urgency of the situation and the crisis very well.
“Climate change is the most important issue facing us all now, and in particular greenhouse emissions which can’t be dealt with by individual actions. We have to go for the corporations producing methane, carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions.”
He felt that the demonstration drew younger people into the debate adding: “It showed older generations that we are both willing to work with them and to push them to take action.”