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'Politicians need to start acting like adults' - Ipswich youths demand climate change action

PUBLISHED: 16:15 24 May 2019 | UPDATED: 19:10 24 May 2019

Obi and Lavender were some of the many children holding posters at Ipswich Cornhill. Picture: ELLA WILKINSON

Obi and Lavender were some of the many children holding posters at Ipswich Cornhill. Picture: ELLA WILKINSON

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Crowds of youth climate activists have been striking at the Cornhill today as they call for urgent action from the government.

Young people gather to demand action on the climate emergency in front of Ipswich Town Hall. Picture: ELLA WILKINSONYoung people gather to demand action on the climate emergency in front of Ipswich Town Hall. Picture: ELLA WILKINSON

Children as young as two gathered in Ipswich on Friday, May 24 holding posters labelled: "Don't be a fossil fool," "There is no planet B" and "Act now" - as they joined more than 1,000 towns making a stand in the global youth climate strike.

Around 100 young people were joined by an additional 100 supporters and the group marched round the town centre five times handing out leaflets to the public.

Eamonn O'Nolan, mayor of Woodbridge, also showed his support when he arrived with a poster which read: "I'm doing this for my grandchildren."

The strike, organised by Fridays For Future and headed up by 12-year-old Eva Garayalde and her friend Dominic, focused on the need for action from the government opposed to that of individual consumers.

Eva and Dominic organised the Ipswich youth climate strike and both spoke at the protest. Picture: ELLA WILKINSONEva and Dominic organised the Ipswich youth climate strike and both spoke at the protest. Picture: ELLA WILKINSON

Speaking from in front of Ipswich Town Hall, Eva said: "In the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the UK ratified in 1992, every child has the right to life.

"Governments must do all they can to ensure that children survive and develop to their full potential. This has been around for 27 years.

"Imagine what could have been achieved in that time to tackle climate change if the government had kept our right to life as a top priority."

Dominic added: "Instead of continuing to deny, people in power need to do what is necessary to avoid lethal global heating, to phase out fossil fuels, and to be carbon neutral by at least 2030."

From left to right, Daisy, Evie and Neve joined the Ipswich youth climate strike at the Cornhill. Picture: ELLA WILKINSONFrom left to right, Daisy, Evie and Neve joined the Ipswich youth climate strike at the Cornhill. Picture: ELLA WILKINSON

Eva's mother Charlotte Leeder, who helped organise the strike, said: "I'm astonished and humbled by the support.

"The young people of Ipswich really care about this and they need to be heard. They just need the adult world to respond."

Joining the youth climate protestors were Labour Ipswich MP Sandy Martin along with Rachel Smith Lyte, from the Green Party, Oliver Holmes from the Liberal Democrats, Richard Allday from Unite Union and a spokesman from the Extinction Rebellion.

Eva finished her speech by saying: "We are here today to say no. No subsidising fossil fuels. No more excuses. No more feeble emissions targets. Politicians need to start acting like adults."

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