Legion of school children marches on Sheffield Town Hall in climate change protest

A legion of Sheffield school children marched on the town hall today in the city’s latest climate change protest.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 4:39 pm

Scores of pupils from schools across the city gathered at Devonshire Green, before heading for Sheffield Town Hall carrying banners and placards, shouting slogans calling for action on global warming.

They were joined on the Youth Strike 4 Climate march by campaigners from other organisations including Extinction Rebellion, Greenpeace and Socialist Worker.

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Holly Toombs, Polly Hallam and Molly Cowell at the Youth Strike 4 Climate protest at Devonshire Greem

Sixth formers Holly Toombs, aged 17, from King Ecgberts School, Polly Hallam, 18, from King Edward VII School, and Molly Cowell, 17, from High Storrs School, had organised the protest.

They also created banners on Devonshire Green before the march began.

Molly, who made a speech on the Town Hall steps calling for solidarity in the fight against climate change from people of all backgrounds and generations, said organising the protest had been a long process.

She said: “Covid has meant that things haven’t been ideal. We had a few in-person actions in the summer of 2020 but they weren’t full scale strikes so this is our first one back.”

The Youth Strike 4 Climate protest moves along Division Street

She said they had worked alongside other climate action groups in Sheffield such as Extinction Rebellion. They hoped for a good turnout, a mixture of adults and young people.

Holly added: "We’re walking out of our schools today to tell the Government that we need climate justice now, that there are people suffering because of climate change, because of actions that we are doing ourselves and there is more that we could be doing.”

Polly said it was important that young people got involved in events like this. She said: “It’s crucial that young people get involved because we’re the generation that’s actually going to make the change and we’re the future leaders, the future scientists, and engineers. You can see throughout history that it’s always young people who have brought the changes that the world needs and that’s why it’s so important that they get involved today.”

It was not just school children at the protest.

Climate protesters on the steps of the Town Hall

Lisa Thorley, from Jordanthorpe, had joined with her daughter, Amelie.

Lisa said: “I think it is fundamental because we’re on the brink of a huge crisis. It’s going to influence me and my generation, but it will affect my daughter’s generation more.”

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The protest march from Devonshire Green to the Town Hall