Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Eastbourne town centre today (September 20) and brought traffic to a standstill as part of the Global Climate Strike.
The march started at 11.15am outside Natwest in Terminus Road which saw protesters chant and wave placards on their way to Wish Tower slopes where speeches were made.
Tilia Guilbaud-Walter, 16, a protester from Eastbourne, said, “I’m here striking for the climate because I believe it is really important. If we don’t do this the government’s not going to act and we’re not going to have a future.
“The more and more strikes we have the government won’t be able to ignore it.
“We need to do something. We can’t sit back. We need to get on with it and put pressure on the government and Eastbourne to actually act on what they’re saying.”
The Hastings college student said people could start to use reusable water bottles, reusable cups, take public transport and start walking more.
She said, “I’m hoping we’re going to raise awareness and people start making a difference in their personal lives.
“Obviously we can’t all be perfect but it’s the small things we can do.
“I am so happy about this turn out I was not expecting this in the slightest and I’m really proud of young people in Eastbourne for putting this together.
“I told my teachers I wouldn’t be at college today and they were really understanding.”
Protest organiser Diana Gerard, 67, from Old Town said, “This is a crisis and we need to do something. It will affect all of us eventually.
“We are a coastal town. The sea levels are going to rise as the arctic ice melts. I think this is a problem for everyone.
“It might not affect us in Eastbourne for the next 10 or 20 years but what about our children? I think if anyone wants to look their children and grandchildren in the eye they really have to take action.
“I would advise everyone to read the science. Just read about it and find out for oneself.
“We want to show that we care, to show the government we care, to show other people we care and to get people to also take action.”
Bob Joe, a Canadian student studying a global development course in the area, said “We are out here to protest, we’ve got to make a change because our future depends on it.
“Every single person counts. I hope that people wake up and see the future.”
While Grove Road Cards owner and onlooker, Steve Barry, said, “As long as it’s peaceful there’s no problem at all. I think their hearts are in the right place.
“I can certainly see their point. I’m an older git, I’m in my mid-60s, most of the issues they’re going to be facing won’t affect me and I plead a certain amount of innocence for my generation because we weren’t aware of it 20-30 years ago.
“But I would be worried now if I was a youngster.”