Climate change protesters gather at Leamington shopping centre as part of international strike

Climate change protest
Climate change protest

Climate change protesters have gathered in their hundreds at the Royal Priors shopping centre in Leamington as part of the global strike today (Friday September 20) as part of the international .

The demonstration started outside Leamington town hall before the group marched to the shopping centre and gathered to hear Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western speak in support of what they were doing.

Climate change protesters Finn and Ella, who attend Aylesford School in Warwick, are pictured with Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western at the demonstration.

Climate change protesters Finn and Ella, who attend Aylesford School in Warwick, are pictured with Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western at the demonstration.

Speaking to the Courier at the event, Mr Western said: "It's really important that people are heard.

"When there are major concerns in our society people need to speak out and at a time when our democracy is being threatened by those in power in Government all the more so.

"These sorts of of demonstrations of public feeling are really really important.

"The point I wanted to get across is that people are being heard - it is cutting through so all these events that have been held in recent months with Brexit going on and so on this is one of the few where politicians are listening and, in some cases acting.

"Some of us are really engaged by this issue while others maybe talk the talk but don't walk the walk so what I said to the crowd was 'please lobby whether that be me as the MP or other MPs if they live outside this constituency, lobby schools or businesses in the area, local authorities and councils and parents.

"Make everyone aware of your concerns because collectively we can start changing behaviour and that's what I'm keen to see."

Children took the day off school to join in the demonstration.

Helen Venn, of Leamington, brought her two children, Finn, aged 12, and Ella aged 15, to the event.

"I've booked time off work for it. We thought it was important for us to do as a family."

Ella, who was attending her fourth climate protest on Friday, said: "I think it's important we keep using our voice."

Ella and Finn, who attend Aylesford School in Warwick, both wore their school uniforms to the protest.

Ella added: "Our headteacher has been very supportive that's why we're wearing our uniforms. We've always made it clear we're not here to skip school. We're here to make a difference.

"This is as important to our future as our education."

Helen added: "It's the small changes everyone can make can eventually lead to a better planet.

"We just went and got a drink we made sure we got a glass bottle.

"We don't always get it right. But if you're going to buy a drink don't buy a plastic bottle."

John Dearing, a Green Party councillor and the leader of Kenilworth Town Council, took part in the strike.

He said: "First and foremost, I was attending the strike to give my support to local children in their demands for action on climate change.

I’ve been teaching and researching the causes and consequences of global warming for thirty years – and in that time I too have become totally frustrated by the lack of government action.

"That’s why I decided to get into local politics and run for election in town and district elections.

"Now I have a grandson it seems even more personal and imperative.

"It was a great event today - there were lots of people from Kenilworth, speeches from children, 100 different banners and motorists hooting their car horns in support.

"Let’s keep up the momentum."

Click here for more photos from the event.