Hundreds line Northampton's streets to warn against climate change
Activists from all over Northampton joined forces in the town centre today with one common purpose - for the Government to act on climate change.
Ten days of Extinction Rebellion protests in London came to a conclusion yesterday (Thursday) as the group ended its action in the capital. The group started its protest on 15 April, stopping traffic at Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge and the area around Parliament Square, and has continued to occupy sites across the capital alongside smaller protests around the UK.
Today (Friday) three young Northampton women, who were inspired by the protests and Swedish climate activist teen Greta Thunberg, brought the same message to our streets.
They were backed by almost 300 other local activists holding placards, who proceeded down Abington Street and along Fish Street before finishing at All Saints Church.
Sisters Mia Joice, 18, and Ava, 14, and their friend, Lorna Lewis, 18, put forward the idea of an eco march in Northampton at a Labour meeting before talking to their friends about it at respective schools, Northampton School for Girls and Northampton College.
Addressing the crowd in an impassioned speech on the steps of All Saints Church, Mia - who was missing her Spanish class - said: "Scientists are saying that we don't have long left, we have 12 years max before mankind's acts are irreversible.
"We are standing out here today because we demand change."
The group want the Government to implement policies to reduce emissions, put a ban on single-use plastics and understand the impact of palm oil deforestation.
She added: "We are here today to make sure we have a future, and to make sure I can grow up and achieve my dreams and ensure I can watch my brother and sister grow up and be happy.
"To ensure that the children of today can have a future to look forward to tomorrow.
"As far as we know there is no Plan B and as far as we know there is no Planet B, so we need to act now to apply pressure and demand climate justice."
Labour candidate for Northampton North, Sally Keeble, said: "They have done fundamental work, they really have. It's been very much their initiative.
"They have been in the driving seat and have done really well.
"It's the issue of the day and it's what we need to be looking at."
Labour candidate for Northampton South Gareth Eales added: "I think it's really uplifting, it's great.
"It's the first in Northampton, from my understanding.
"We have certainly started a national debate and it's good to see it on our streets as well."
Activist Jasmin Geari, 17, was on the march with her chocolate Labrador, Idgi, she said: "I think constantly global warming and climate change is brushed over.
"It's always talked about but not acted on. Anything like this to raise awareness is a step in the right direction."