Families call for action on climate change in street protest
Marches at home and abroad saw parents come on to the streets with children.
Hundreds of mothers, fathers and families with babies and children took to the streets to demand urgent action on climate change.
Crowds of protesters carrying banners, flags and placards marched from Hyde Park Corner to Parliament Square as part of the Mothers Rise Up march in central London on Sunday.
The march was led by 11 11-year-olds to represent the 11-year window to act on the climate emergency and accompanied by three giant prams with large globes sitting inside them, two painted like the earth and another painted brown as if scorched.
— Shappi Khorsandi (@ShappiKhorsandi) May 12, 2019
Elliott Powell was one of the youngsters leading the march and told the crowds sitting in Parliament Square he did not believe he had a future right now.
He added: “We need action now and it’s really distressing because the Government isn’t helping.
“We need to act now before it’s too late.”
TV presenter Konnie Huq, comedian Shappi Khorsandi and lawyer and activist Farhana Yamin also addressed the crowds at the rally.
Ms Huq told the crowds that the march had been organised by mothers in between changing nappies and dropping children off.
She added: “The reason we are here is because of the youth strikes – the young people have been putting us to shame and it’s time for us adults to take responsibility.”
Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, whose daughter Ella suffered a fatal asthma attack believed to be linked to air pollution, told the crowds that her daughter had died a “horrible death”.
Ms Kissi-Debrah added: “If you deal with air pollution it means you will also deal with climate change.
“Everyone here needs to be bothered about the impact of air pollution.
“My daughter died a very, very horrible death.
“If you live near a man road you should be angry. I’m too heartbroken to be angry.”
Mothers Rise Up co-founder Catherine Webb told the crowds that after seeing the youth strikes she felt like parents were failing their children.
— Mothers Rise Up 🌍 (@mothersriseup) May 12, 2019
WE ARE RISING! Gathering outside the intercontinental hotel if you're arriving now. pic.twitter.com/mOKLtLPg1R
The mother-of-two warned that people were “sleepwalking towards a cliff with our babies in our arms”.
She added: “We want what every mother, what every parent, wants: we want what’s best for our kids.”
Similar marches were due to take place across the country and internationally, including Cyprus, the Netherlands, Spain, the Czech Republic and Australia.