Students join third round of youth protests over climate change

Students have joined protests as part of an international youth campaign demanding action on climate change.

Organisers behind the Youth Strike 4 Climate movement said “sizeable events” would take place in major towns and cities including London, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester and Brighton.

Demonstrators are taking to the streets for the third mass protest in as many months.

Climate strike
A protesting student holds up a placard (John Stillwell/PA)

A number of groups were distributing leaflets and newspapers at Parliament Square in central London on Friday morning where between 400 and 800 people had gathered.

Organiser for Socialist Students Theo Sharieff, 23, from Birmingham, said to “fight climate change we need socialist change”.

He added: “We’re Marxists and we’re Trotskyists, we believe that the Russian revolution in 1917 was an example of the working class taking democratic control of wealth and resources.”

Climate strike
Students march through London as they take part in a strike over the climate crisis (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Sixth-former Nova Levy-Rapoport, 17, an organiser for the UK Student Climate Network, said: “There is so little time that we have left before we enter such a volatile future and if I was not here today it would be a literal betrayal to myself, my family, my friends and my future.”

Protests and mass walkouts from lessons and lectures earlier this year have seen police intervening as roads came to a standstill, activists scaled traffic lights and statues, and some sat in front of double-decker buses.

Those going on strike said they are demanding that the Government declares a state of climate emergency, and reforms the curriculum “to address climate change as an educational priority”.

Climate strike
Students joined the protest organised by Youth Strike 4 Climate (John Stillwell/PA)

They are also campaigning for the voices of young people to be considered when it comes to policy-making and for the voting age to be lowered to 16.

The strikes come in the wake of a UN report which warned that limiting global temperature rises to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, beyond which climate impacts become increasingly severe, requires unprecedented action.

Protests in Piccadilly Circus
Protests in Piccadilly Circus (John Stillwell/PA)

That includes cutting global carbon dioxide emissions by almost half within 12 years.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has previously spoken of his support for the strikes, saying: “Collective action of the kind you’re championing can make a difference, and a profound one.”

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