Generations of Portsmouth families make their voices heard at global climate strike

GENERATIONS of families stood together in solidarity to make their voices heard during a climate change protest that was one of more than 100 across the country.

Schoolchildren, activists and residents gathered in Guildhall Square in Portsmouth as part of a global climate strike, which is thought to have taken place is 158 countries in the world.

Heather Meldrum from Milton attended the protest with her daughter and granddaughter.

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Portsmouth schoolchildren come out in strength for climate change strike
People taking part in the Global Climate Strike organised by Extinction Rebellion Portsmouth in Guildhall Square in Portsmouth on November 29 in 2019. Picture: Fiona Callingham

The 57-year-old said: ‘I am here to heal the planet for the future generations. It's amazing to see younger people getting involved like this, it's definitely picking up the pace.’

Her granddaughter Lyla Meldrum, 11, from North End, attended as her school was shut for teacher training.

‘The people here care because all the cars are melting the ice caps and the polar bears have nowhere to live,’ she said.

Priory School in Southsea allowed students to take a break from lessons to participate.

Protesters at the Portsmouth climate change protest L-R Heather Meldrum, 57, Daisy Meldrum, 23, and Lyla Meldrum, 11

Nellie Fraser from the school attended with friends. The 13-year-old said: ‘I am here because I feel like adults and politicians aren’t listening.'

Lucy Piper, 12, added: ‘This is a real emergency and nobody is really doing anything about it.’

Their friend Iris Silva, 12, said: 'I am here because of the animals that are dying like the polar bears because the ice is melting. In a few years a lot of people won't be able to live in their homes because we're destroying the land.'

Protesters at the Portsmouth climate change protest L-R Nellie Fraser, 13, Safiya Perrott, 12, Lucy Piper, 12, Eve Mellor, 13 and Iris Silva, 12

Campaigners Extinction Rebellion worked to organise the event and were joined by groups such as Friends of the Earth and Wilder Portsmouth.

Politicians also attended to give speeches.

Labour’s Stephen Morgan, who is standing for re-election as Portsmouth South’s MP, said: 'I think we need actions not words now, that must be our mantra. We are at a tipping point.'

Lib Dem candidate and council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson added: 'It's really important that groups like Extinction Rebellion are putting pressure on politicians of all parties to make sure things change.'

The other candidates for Portsmouth South are Donna Jones for the Conservatives and John Kennedy for the Brexit Party. Steven George is the Justice and Anti-Corruption Party candidate.