Climate strike school students to hold first Matlock protest march

Matlock A-level students Emily Bush, left, and Izzy Bunting are among the organisers of the town's first climate strike march on Friday, April 12.
Matlock A-level students Emily Bush, left, and Izzy Bunting are among the organisers of the town's first climate strike march on Friday, April 12.

Matlock school students will take to the streets this week to join the global climate strike movement and a call for action from local authorities.

A group of Highfields students aged 13-18 are organising the protest march on Friday, April 12, under than banner of Matlock YouthStrike4Climate.

Spokesperson Emily Bush, 17, said: “This is now a monthly action around the world. Last month we held an event in school but it’s important that we take this into the wider community.

“We are calling on local councils to follow Wirksworth’s lead and declare a climate emergency, backed by measures to begin reducing carbon emissions across the Derbyshire Dales.”

She added: “Already we are seeing natural disasters due to climate change. Everyone knows the icecaps are melting, scientists have given us all the facts and predictions. There’s a lot of talk, but little action.

“It’s going to be far too late if we keep putting it off. It could really ruin every aspect of life, and will seriously affect our generation. While we can’t vote and have no authority, this is the only way to make our voices heard.”

The climate strike was sparked by Greta Thunberg, 16, last year, when she resolved not to attend school in the run up to the Swedish elections.

By March 2019, it had spread to more than 100 countries, and Emily was among 20,000 youngsters who descended on Parliament Square in London.

She said: “It was the first time I had been involved in anything like that. It was empowering to be part of, and to realise so many other people shared concerns I have always had while growing up.

“But protests in London are not accessible for everyone, and it’s important we push to make changes here which are easier to do than national laws and regulations.”

Emily, whose actions are fully supported by her own parents, added: “We’ll be starting in Crown Square at 11am, and anybody is welcome to come – other students, parents, anyone who shares our passion for this.”