Jan 2020 Climate Awareness Part 2: The Children Have Spoken

from Pause For Thought: BBC Radio Devon by Kimwei

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2. The Children Have Spoken

It's midday on a Friday September 29th 2019. I'm standing in the middle of Exeter with a pair of drumsticks in my back pocket, and a full samba band of drummers in formation before me. We're ready to lead the Global School Strike 4 Climate march. It should have started by now, but so many children and students have turned out to protest that the organising team are overwhelmed.

Finally I blow my whistle to start up the band and am met with an uproar rousing rhythms. As we march across the city centre, we are greeted by cheers and waves from the public, but it's not until we reach the crest of a hill that the full scale of it hits me - row upon row of young people waving colourful banners stretches as far as the eye can see.

When the march arrives at *County Hall to make a stand, it's clear that hundreds were expected, but we are thousands, filling the courtyard until not a blade of grass can be seen.

Speakers have prepared to address the Climate Strikers through a comically small PA for the size of the crowd. What has brought over 3000 young people out onto the streets of Exeter like never before? I take the microphone and sing with them and it's like Glastonbury except this is not entertainment - this is the world changing. It's tomorrow's leaders stopping traffic, and refusing to stop, until it all stops and a better future starts.

*Error in recording - "City Hall" should be "County Hall"

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from Pause For Thought: BBC Radio Devon, released January 30, 2017

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