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Global Climate Strike: XR protests to take place in Kent

ByKatie May Nelson

Events aimed at putting pressure on the government to take action against climate change are due to take place across Kent today.

Today campaigners will gather in Chatham High Street as part of the Global Climate Strike.

Climate change protests across Kent

Medway Youth Climate Change Movement held a family fun day at the Victory Academy, Magpie Hall Road. Picture: Sean Aidan
Medway Youth Climate Change Movement held a family fun day at the Victory Academy, Magpie Hall Road. Picture: Sean Aidan

Scroll down to hear why some of the campaigners came out to protest

The protest, organised by Medway Youth Climate Change Movement, will highlight young people’s demands for governments to commit to changing their environmental policy.

Callum Thomas is from the group and attends the Victory Academy in Magpie Hall Road, Chatham.

He said: “It’s important that young people have their voice heard because it’s us who will be affected by the consequences of climate change in the long term.”

The group hosted a family fun day at the Victory Academy last Saturday where they gave out tips on how to plan meat-free meals and recycling.

A group of protestors demonstrating against the proposed development off Pump Lane, Rainham will also be taking place.

Protestors campaigning against the proposed development of Pump Lane will be protesting in Gillingham and Chatham
Protestors campaigning against the proposed development of Pump Lane will be protesting in Gillingham and Chatham

They will be meeting at the junction of Woodlands Road and Sovereign Boulevard in Gillingham at 9am.

At 3.30pm, they will walk towards Chatham High Street to join Medway Youth Climate Change Movement,

The Global Climate Strike protest will take place from 4pm by the old mural next to Waterstones.

There will be speeches from speakers including Cllr Vince Maple, leader of the Labour group at Medway Council.

In Maidstone, local grammar school pupils gathered outside County Hall along with other climate protesters.

One pupil told KentOnline: "We're hear as students to help change the system so that we can make sure the world's better for future generations.

"We've held a climate strike in Maidstone once before, we're all passionate about it as it's our future we have to be able to shape it."

Kate Shuttleworth and Marijke Zeg were at their first protest.

Mrs Shuttleworth, scout leader for Mereworth and Kings Hill group, said: "This year our scouts are looking at globallly sustainability. I thought it was better to put actions where our words are and support this.

"This is our first time on a protest, its an important topic and its important that people of all ages are seen to support it."

Later today pupils at Boughton Monchelsea Primary School will hold their own protest on the school grounds.

Laura Clout is part of Extinction Rebellion Sevenoaks, where another strike is taking place on The Vine.

She said: "That our children are having to take to the streets to demand that the adults who are meant to protect them do their job properly, totally sickens me.

"These aren’t kids who are mindlessly bunking off school - they know the extreme danger our planet is facing and they aren’t prepared to be ignored or to have the buck passed to their generation. They know time is running out.

"We need local and national government to engage on a warlike footing with a plan to solve this problem before it really is too late.”

Mrs Clout's eight-year old daughter Rosie, who will give a speech at the event, said: "The first thing on my Christmas list this year will be that I want a safe and beautiful planet for everybody to live on."

A climate march took place to Tunbridge Wells Town Hall from The Pantiles.

Hundreds also protested in Folkestone over climate change.

Today is just the start of the action with events taking place including Extinction Rebellion blockading the Port of Dover tomorrow.

On Sunday, clean air groups will meet at the Dartford Crossing on Sunday.

Protesters will meet outside the Hilton Hotel next to the Crossways Business Park before walking over the bridge.

Earlier this week University of Kent lecturer Dr Charlie Gardner said climate protesters who put them selves at risk of arrest should be treated as "heroes".

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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