Friday’s climate change protest: Victoria Square left at a standstill

Upwards of 300 students ditched school to occupy Arthur Square


Thousands of students worldwide skipped school on Friday to take part in a protest against climate change inspired by Swedish teen Greta Thunberg, who protests weekly in Stockholm.

In Belfast's Victoria Square, hundreds of students gathered throughout the day with picket signs and microphones in hand to scream their message to Stormont: "Climate change has got to go!"

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Students gathered outside entry to Victoria Square

We spoke to students who had given up their own school time to take place in the protest, of all ages and different schools.

Dan, who is a sixth forum student, told The Belfast Tab: "We're here today to spread awareness that kids really do care about this which is why there's such a crowd today and it's really inspiring.

"My friend Anna's sign is to make fun of the fact that just like the rising sea levels, which we're not okay with, we're rising up."

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Dan and Anna

When asked why these Methody College students had skipped school today to attend the protest, said: "We came to protest today because the Earth's dying and if we don't do anything to fix it, then we're going to suffer for it.

"My sign reads: 'Your decisions affect your children, and your children's children, and your children's children's children,' because I wanted to show how older people's decisions are affecting us."

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Students from Methody College out showing support for the movement

Green Party's South Belfast MLA, Claire Bailey, also stepped out to show her support for the school children, saying: "I am here today as an elected representative to send a message of encouragement and to standby [the school children protesting].

"I think this is an amazing turnout and it's great to see the youth movement leading the way."

When asked about her colleagues who did not turn up to show support for the youth she said: "I would like to know why? Why aren't they showing support for their youth and why are they not taking any action."

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Claire Bailey pictured with other members of the Green Party.