Schools' climate strike: Young people protest across England

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Students around England protest against climate change

Young people who have skipped school to join climate change protests across England have told the BBC there is no point in learning when their future is at risk.

Thousands of schoolchildren have flooded into city and town centres across the country as classrooms around the world were abandoned for a day of demonstration.

In Bradford, primary schoolchildren led about 100 people with loud chanting outside City Hall.

Despite the windy weather, there was a clear feeling of excitement.

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A protester wearing a Donald Trump mask joined children chanting in Bradford

Danny, 14, said: "What's the point in learning if it's not going to do anything because your future is going to be ruined by climate change?"

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Danny, 14, questioned the point in learning when his future could be ruined by climate change

His sentiments were shared by Hannah, 18, who joined a crowd in Quarry Park Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

She said: "I believe there's no point of us getting an education and planning for the future if there is going to be no future."

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Students in towns like Shrewsbury also joined the city protests

Thousands of young people marched through Brighton chanting loudly and holding a variety of banners.

One of the city's Labour MPs, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, joined the march saying "students will learn more today than they will in the classroom."

Image source, Eddie Mitchell
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Brighton city centre was filled with young people making their voices heard

Lana, 13, said: "They're messing up our future and we're the ones who are going to have to clean it up, so I think it's important that we come and tell them about it.

"The school haven't let us go, they say there's consequences but it's more important than school attendance to come here and protest."

Her friend Bea said: "I really don't care what consequences they give us, it's more important that we fight for our future. This is the world we're going to have to live in".

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Lana and Bea at Brighton's demonstration

In Manchester protesters blocked tram lines through the city centre, causing minor delays.

Metrolink boss Danny Vaughan said: "It's disappointing that they've chosen to disrupt Metrolink - which, ironically, is one of the greenest and most sustainable ways to travel across Greater Manchester."

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Toni said she thought she would get in trouble for skipping school to attend a protest in Manchester

Toni, 15, from Stockport, said: "I tried to come to the last protest but my school said no.

"My head of year said no this time but I think it is more important to come.

"I think I'm going to get into trouble though."

Thousands of people also marched through the streets of Birmingham.

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Arjun took part in the demonstration in Birmingham

Arjun, 16, said: "We are at the point that in 12 to 20 years the effects of climate change are going to be irreversible.

"The only way to change it is through the younger generation because the older generation don't really care."

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Young people marched through the streets of Plymouth

What started out as a gathering outside Plymouth's Civic Centre turned into a protest through the streets when more than 100 students were told they were on private property.

Students briefly stopped traffic at a pedestrian crossing chanting "System change, not climate change" and "Climate, change it back", before marching through a shopping centre.

After being diverted back outside by the centre's security guards, they descended on the offices of local MP Luke Pollard, who addressed the crowd.

One protester, Dylan, was leading the chants as the students marched through the streets. He said it was time the government was given "a wake-up call" after "missing emissions targets in the Paris climate agreement".

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In Newcastle City centre, the Monument was surrounded by hundreds of young people

In Newcastle City centre, the Monument was surrounded by hundreds of young people chanting "we want action now".

They said they did not want to strike, play truant or waste the time of their teachers but they had to make a stand.

Tom, 17, said: "This is my life, the life of my children in the future, so to be off school is a brave move for us all."

The students came from a number of schools across the city with one common purpose, demanding the Government declare a "climate emergency" and allow young people to have their say on their environmental future.

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Hannah went to a climate change protest in Newcastle on her 18th birthday

One student, Hannah, was celebrating her 18th birthday.

She said: "For my birthday I asked everyone to come here today, we won't have a future if we don't act now."

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Students in Birmingham said 'we've been ignored as a generation'

In Guildford lots of parents turned out to support their children.

A minute's silence was held for the victims of the New Zealand mosque attacks.

Layla, 16 said: "The reason I go to school is so I can have a future. If I don't come here then I'm not going to have a future anyway, so this is more important for me at the moment."

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Children in Ipswich protested as classrooms were abandoned for a day of demonstrations

Children in Ipswich and Huntingdon protested as classrooms were abandoned for a day of demonstrations.

Thea, 17, from Ipswich said: "This is potentially the biggest threat facing my generation and I couldn't forgive myself if I didn't stand up now."

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