2019 London Climate Strike

It was a privilege and a fortunate coincidence that the biggest and most historic climate strike and protest fell in the time where I was gaining work experience at Waterwise. Myself along with two Waterwise employees attended the 2019 climate strike, outside Westminster alongside 100,000 others. The march was on Friday 20th September and was an act of comradery to the school children on strike participating in the campaign: #FridaysforFuture.

The school strike was started by Swedish Climate Activist, Greta Thunberg. She is now the inspiration of millions of people, of all ages. She is certainly my idol. Reports say that it was the largest environmental protest in history. It is estimated that over 4 million people

worldwide joined the strike. In the UK, the largest climate strikes outside of London were held in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Bristol, Brighton and there were dozens of others across the country.

The most moving part of the day was that thousands of young children who are environmentally passionate and are seriously concerned that if nothing is done then they will not have a future. The children and their supporters were demanding action. They took the stance that everybody should be shouting for ‘their’ future. Some powerful banners read “you’ll die of old age; I’ll die of climate change”. I was asked by 3 lovely children if they could interview me (with a video-camera and microphone!) about why I was there. They had to present to their primary school on Monday why they were striking. They were so passionate and informed on the topic at such a young age.

From reading the banners and placards there were lots of different causes being protested, such as: veganism, plastic pollution, the Amazon Rainforest fires, fossil fuels, fast fashion and of course, climate change and rising sea levels. There were a huge array of banners, some witty, some Greta quotes and some very harrowing truths. My personal favourite banners were:

  • “Do it for David” referring to the Legend, David Attenborough.
  • “The ocean is rising and so are we!”
  • ‘Why teach science then ignore it?”
  • “Why go to school when you won’t listen to the educated?”
  • “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”
  • “I don’t want you to be hopeful, I want you to panic… and act as if the house were on fire”, which is, of course, a Greta Thunberg quote.

It was so promising to see that the next generation care so passionately about the world we all share. As the next generation of leaders, we can be sure that they will prioritise the environment and water resources. 

By Martha Makin, Social Policy Student, University of Bristol