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5,000 join climate change protest

More than 5,000 protesters gathered outside Parliament in London calling on the Government to take tougher action on climate change.

Crowds of environmental activists cheered as a host of speakers including Vivienne Westwood and Caroline Lucas attacked the Government and accused it of not taking action.

Renowned fashion designer Westwood, speaking via video link, said: "As you march my models will be walking down the catwalk.

"It's very important you are there. I believe this demo is super important for the whole world.

"At the moment we in the UK need to do two things to handle everything for the best, we need to demonstrate, we need to vote in the elections.

"The main parties just want power, they believe everything should be owned by a few people that don't want change.

"We want MPs who don't agree with the old system.

"The press and the TV do not reflect public opinion, the internet does.

"You're not alone, people know what's going on.

"We must keep up the fight against climate change, the clock is ticking."

She was joined by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.

The Brighton Pavilion MP told the crowd: "Thank you so much for being here. We are here and we are powerful.

"We are saying no to climate change and no to fossil firms.

"We know that what's lacking isn't the technology, isn't the money, what's lacking is simply the political will.

"That is what we can show them up and down the country through the things that we do.

"We are talking about practical policies that make a difference. That is what we are about, we are about hope."

Protesters first gathered at 1pm on Saturday at Lincoln's Inn Fields before marching across the capital to Parliament.

They were led by a man with green leaves attached to his head, who was riding a bicycle with large wings bearing the slogan: "Look after your mum."

At one stage around 100 marchers sat down behind him in the middle of the road with their bicycles blocking traffic outside Charing Cross station.

Others chanted "power to the people, power to the polar bear" as they marched towards Parliament.

Many carried placards with messages such as "climate not trident" and "say no to fracking".

Among the protesters were activists Nina Borders, Leyla Wilmers and Andrew Musser.

Ms Broders, 30, said: "I think a lot of people don't realise what the situation is and how serious it is. People are not taking it seriously enough as an issue and that's why we are here to raise some awareness. It's important that we go out and make people aware of the situation. "

Ms Wilmers, 30, an NGO worker, added: "It's also about making the Government aware and getting them to change their policy.

"I'm not just here to raise awareness but to protest against the Government and the big corporations as well. They need to bring about major changes, not just telling people to switch their lightbulbs off and so on, but to stop burning fossil fuels and move to renewable energies."

Mr Musser, 30, a physicist at Cambridge University, said: "The Government policy is quite bizarre.

"They say they're are concerned about the environment but then they propose wide scale fracking.

"I think they need to move to renewable energy, particularly hydropower and solar power."

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