UK Climate Strikes: Cornish students join protest

Written by Joshua Copus-Oxland |

Students wave banners under Cornish flag at YouthStrike4Climate protest in Truro
Photo: Joshua Copus-Oxland

Students and parents demonstrated, on Friday, in front of County Hall in Truro as part of YouthStrike4Climate’s first nationwide climate change strike, with more demonstrations expected to come soon.

The UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN) organised the event, which gave protesters the chance to wave banners, voice their concerns through the PA system and reach out to members of Cornwall Council.

UKSCN Organiser Rosie Short-Knight of Truro College said: “[We need to] raise awareness and show that the youth care. It’s our planet that we’re going to be inheriting, and the government needs to listen to us to protect our futures because we won’t stand for anything less than a healthy, striving planet.”

The protest came in the wake of Cornwall Council’s recent declaration of a ‘climate emergency’, and its pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Extreme weather events such as the flooding in Coverack and the sudden snowstorm last year show the urgency of the situation.

Students wave banners at YouthStrike4Climate protest in Truro
Photo: Lucinda Mae Parfett

Sue James, Council Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection, made a public appearance at the protest and was there to answer the questions of both the press and protesters.

She said: “Over the next six months, we’re going to look at the things we’ve done, take stock, because there’s some things, particularly renewable energy where because the government changes policies, our ambitions stalled a bit.

“We’re doing stuff on plastics. I was at a meeting yesterday looking at a plastics manifesto for Cornwall, so we are doing stuff, but we want to come up with a cohesive plan that joins it all together so we can have a more concerted action and work with the people of Cornwall.”

Others came in response to the call to action of Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who sat outside the Swedish Parliament during school time to protest against climate change.

Students listen to a speaker at YouthStrike4Climate protest in Truro
Photo: Lucinda Mae Parfett

Regarding the stance secondary education takes on the issue, a student from the Richard Lander School in Truro said:

“I think some teachers do [care] but there are some schools who care more about attendance than the actual climate.

“They pretend to care for publicity but I think some schools don’t put the effort in. It’s brilliant to see that some primary schools and high schools also do.

“Some kids probably really do [skive] because it’s a day off school, but the real people that matter are the kids who are coming in, not having a day off school to get that message of climate change across.”

The next UK-wide Youth Strike will take place on 15th March.