Climate change pupils 'strike' in Harrogate

Harrogate youngsters waving banners and shouting loudly on Parliament Street in Harrogate today about climate change.
Harrogate youngsters waving banners and shouting loudly on Parliament Street in Harrogate today about climate change.

Inspired by influential student Greta Thunberg, approximately 30 Harrogate school children have been protesting in Harrogate town centre today about climate change.

The unofficial climate change protest is taking place in tandem with a [pupils strike called YouthStrike4Climate (YS4C) Leeds will march through the city to protest against what young people say is a "dangerous and almost unbelievable continuation of the norm" on global warming policies in the UK.

It appeared the youngsters waving banners and shouting loudly on Parliament Street in Harrogate not far from the town's main war memorial comes from schools including Western Primary School, Harrogate Grammar School and St Aidan's High School.

In advance of the protest, the Harrogate Advertiser received an email from Seren Melling, aged 12, saying: "school children from Harrogate will be protesting about climate change tomorrow morning at the valley gardens between 9-12. They are tired of sitting in lessons learning about all the problems our planet faces and have decided to strike from school and do something about it."

Famous Harrogate shop 'overwhelmed' by messages of support

As for the reaction to the strike, today, the Harrogate Advertiser saw one smartly-dressed man call the mainly female students, who were aged between seven and 11 in general, "awesome" for their actions.

Some cars were also honking their horns near Bettys tearooms in a show of support.

But the Harrogate Advertiser was also told that some passers-by had been hostile to the event, saying the young protesters "probably went on holiday abroad by airplane."

Today, Friday, May 24 has seen school children skipping classes internationally to call for action on climate change from Australia to Europe.

The movement has grown internationally in recent months thanks to school student Greta Thunberg, who has become a global figurehead since protesting outside Sweden's parliament in 2018.

The then 15-year old, who brandished a sign saying "school strike for climate change", said she was refusing to attend classes until Swedish politicians took action.

Earlier in the morning the young Harrogate protesters had marched in the Valley Gardens area by foot.

Whether the authorities at Harrogate schools react well to the students' actions or mark them down as "unauthorised absence" is not known.

Top cycling event's 'seismic impact' on Harrogate