Students strike at Aras an Contae Longford town
A large number of students from many schools throughout Longford joined in arms earlier today, Friday September 20, as part of a Global strike for climate change action.
Students from over 100 different countries worldwide engaged in the strike, with the Longford portion organised by Ardagh native, Eliza Jane Pearman Howard. Eliza is the founder of Fridays for Future Longford, where she protests outside the Longford county council offices almost every Friday, in a bid to get those in power to implement a climate action plan.
Eliza was joined by well over one hundred plus students from secondary schools throughout Longford in Longford town on Friday afternoon, September 20. “We all dream of a planet that is green” rang the chants through Market square before students began their march to the Longford county council offices on Great Water street.
Addressing the crowds Eliza said: “Thank you so much for coming. I did not expect this many people.
“You all know why we are here. It is our planet and it is us that will be affected.
“They need to listen to us.” she added, pointing to the Longford county council offices.
Upon arrival at Aras an Contae, students let their voices be heard and highlighted their grievances through a number of different chants. Many of them feel they are being let down by the adults of today, with the issue being ‘pushed under the carpet’. They were also joined by a number of adults on the day, who felt obligated to join the fight.
“My daughter wanted to come and she, like everyone else here, is worried about climate change.” said parent Annette Corkery to the Leader.
Ann Gerety-Smyth added: “There is a lot of talk. But nothing ever happens.”
Ann says children are “worried, annoyed and angry” at a lack of action.
“They feel like there is no hope, but we are here to support them here today. We have let them down.” She said.
These views were echoed by Joanna Pearman, mother of Eliza-Jane, who said: “It is their future and adults, the people in power, need to hear their voices.
“There are too many old men running the country and things have to change, because it is not sustainable.
“You look around today and the way we are living is just not sustainable...All aspects of our lives and our systems must change. It is the children’s future and unfortunately it is them who will have to deal with the consequences of this lifestyle.”
Eliza Jane Pearman Howard spoke of her delight at the large number of participants in today’s strike, noting that it highlights the severity of the issue. She then called on governmental officials to listen to the demands of the thousands of children on strike throughout the world.
She said: “I never expected this many people and I am really grateful to everyone who came out.
“They (people in power) know what we are saying. They need to listen to us.” She continued.
“They need to start to looking at our demands and actually take action to correct what they are doing and make it better.
“We have known about climate change for a long time now...Politicians need to now realize that is no longer the 1900’s it is 2019. The time for action is now and not then.”
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