Climate Strike: Protests held across UK

Protests are taking place across the UK, with pupils leaving schools and workers downing tools as part of a global “climate strike” day.

Rallies are taking place in cities including Glasgow, Manchester and London, urging “climate justice” and “an end to the age of fossil fuels”.

Students and workers have also been encouraged to let off alarm clocks across the country at 1300 BST.

Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said their voices were “being heard”.

However, he said he could not “endorse children leaving school” to take part.

Demonstrations have also been organised in Newcastle upon Tyne, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

UK Student Climate Network"s Global Climate Strike at Millbank in London.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “standing in solidarity” with protesters. Image copyright: PA Media
Children from Terra Nova Secondary in Cheshire attend the UK Student Climate Network's strike in Manchester
Children from Terra Nova Secondary in Cheshire are attending the UK Student Climate Network’s strike in Manchester. Image copyright: PA Media
Protesters in Westminster on Friday
Protesters have gathered in Westminster. Image copyright: PA Media

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will address the group’s rally outside Westminster at about 13:15 BST.

Extinction Rebellion, which organised its own climate and environment protests in the UK earlier this year, said it stood “in solidarity” with those taking part.

It added that its members were joining the strikes and holding their own events, including a choir and “kids’ space” in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster, and outside King’s College London.

Protesters at the UK Student Climate Network"s Global Climate Strike in Manchester.
Protesters in Manchester, where at least one clothing store closed to support the strike. Image copyright: PA Media

Some trade unions, including TUC Congress, the University and College Union and Unite, are supporting members who take part in the “strikes”.

Co-operative Bank says it is supporting workers who want to join the action, while US clothing brand Patagonia is closing all of its stores and taking out adverts to back the protesters.

The action follows earlier school strikes inspired by activist Greta Thunberg.

The teenager, from Sweden, is set to join a rally planned in New York, where world leaders will meet at the UN next week to discuss climate change.

Teenage campaigner Greta Thunberg
Teenage campaigner Greta Thunberg – who inspired the protests – sailed to the US ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York next week. Image copyright: PA Media

Mr Kwarteng said the protesters’ voices were being heard but he could not “endorse children leaving school”.

He told BBC Breakfast: “What I do support is their energy, their creativity, and the fact that they have completely mastered these issues and take them very seriously.”

Main image copyright: PA Media

First published 20.09.19: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49767327

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