Matlock schools climate strike stages ‘die-in’ protest at County Hall

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Matlock’s young people took to the streets again today with renewed calls for action over the climate crisis, and took their message to County Hall.

Marching out on the same day as hundreds of thousands around the world, the assembled school strikers staged two 11-minute ‘die-ins’, first in Crown Square then inside County Hall.

The tactic represents the 11 year window which some experts say is all the time left to avert the worst possible climate outcomes and catastrophic loss of human life.

Spokesperson Emily Bush, said: “Even though we are now in exam season, there was still an impressive turnout with lots of new faces. People feel this is such an important issue that they have to be here.

“I think we sent a strong message about what needs to happen, and how devastating the crisis will be if we don’t take action.”

She added: “People were shocked to see us lying on the floor, but we want them to be shocked in order to get our message across and make them understand the urgency.

The national theme for this month’s strike was education and in response to young people’s demands, the Labour Party has announced plans to put climate change on the schools curriculum.

Locally, however, young people have been left frustrated by the county council’s recent debate on the issue and its reluctance to declare a climate emergency.

Emily said: “Some of us went to the debate and were disappointed by the discussion, but that gave us extra reason to come out today.

“What we got from the county council was a very watered-down plan of action. Even if the council is unwilling to take rapid action, declaring an emergency would help make people realise how serious the situation is.”

She added: “We spoke to councillors and got mixed responses. Some are very supportive, some think what we are doing is a ridiculous waste of time.”

The young people invited every member of the council to attend today’s protest, and a handful of councillors did show up.

Emily said: “It was positive to see some of them here, but not quite as many as we would have liked.

“We don’t want this to be party political. In order to solve the problems we need everyone unified and working together.”

The next youth climate strike will be on Friday, June 21, and protesters will be back in Crown Square, 11am to 2pm.

To follow their campaign, go to facebook.com/matlock4climate.