By Ben Norris
On the longest day of the year, hundreds of children put their studies on hold to protest against climate change.
Schoolkids bearing signs and placards gathered at the Levels on Friday (June 21) after marching from Churchill Square clock tower to hear speeches from their peers and leading environmentalist figures.
Brighton Mayor Alex Phillips, who is also a Green MEP for South East England, apologised to her young audience for causing them to miss their classes.
She said: “Those in power have failed us because this is not normal.
“It is not normal that in a civilised society we are relying on young people to drop out of lessons in order to make the public recognise that there is a problem.”
Mrs Phillips lamented the apparent reversal of plans by the government to cut down on carbon emissions, highlighting statistics from the 2018 IPCC demonstrating that the average sea level has risen by three inches over the past 25 years.
Also speaking was Lloyd Russel-Moyle, MP for Brighton Kemptown, who stressed the need for greater public action to combat the threats posed by climate change.
He said: “Whether you’ve come out here on strike today or whether you are still having to work, climate change is going to affect your lives.
“It might not end the lives of all humanity, but we face a miserable life of water shortages, a lack of jobs and an uncertain future for a planet that is dying.”
Children as young as eight spoke publicly to voice their support for climate action, imploring their peers to tell their friends and families to drive less and recycle more.