HUNDREDS of people took the streets of Stroud this morning in a peaceful protest against climate change.
Young activists who have been taking part in school strikes over the climate crisis had urged people of all ages to join them in the streets for the demonstrations as part of what was expected to be the largest global climate strike.
Stroud companies, including Ecotricity, Stroud Brewery, Sound Records, Strangeness & Charm Vintage, Loose Plastic Free Shop, Moonflower and Darbyshire Framemakers, participated in the protest.
The youth strikers called on parents, working people and politicians to get behind the action and demand urgent steps to tackle the climate crisis.
As the march reached the Subscription Rooms, chants of “This is Stroud” and “Our land is the same land” could be heard loudly throughout the town centre.
Signs with messages including “It’s our future our choice” and “Greta for PM” were also on display.
One of the young activists, Dan Green, gave a passionate speech where he reiterated the importance of the march.
“Together we can make a difference,” he said. “Parliament may be in chaos, it may be suspended, but we can make people listen. We can make businesses listen and we can make communities listen.”
David Drew MP, and shadow minister for the environment, gave a short address to the crowd in which he also spoke of his work with schools to reduce plastics and also called for the incinerator to be shut down.
After the march he said: “It was incredibly powerful to see so many people of all ages come together peacefully in Stroud today to show just how much they care for our planet and future generations. Our governments must take urgent action.”
Stroud’s protesters joined citizens in towns and cities in more than 150 countries who held strikes at the same time, inspired and supported by teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.
It was part of a global mass day of action, taking place just three days before the United Nations climate summit in New York.
Greta Thunberg said: “This is not a single-generation job. We’re asking adults to step up alongside us. Let’s all join together, with your neighbours, co-workers, friends, family and go out on to the streets to make your voices heard and make this a turning point in our history.”
Stroud’s protestors, led by a marching band, a choir and the Boss Morris morris-dancing troupe, began marching from Archway School in Paganhill at 11am.
All photos by Simon Pizzey, except from the image of David Drew outside the Sub Rooms.