Generations of Islington families march against inaction over climate change
PUBLISHED: 16:22 18 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:30 18 February 2019
Parents and children made their voices heard about climate change as they joined a climate change protest in Islington.
On Friday’s unseasonably mild February morning, generations of families gathered in Kinlock Gardens ahead of the march.
While her two children played on the climbing frame, organiser Helena McKeown said she was worried about their future rather than her own.
“I’m obviously am very concerned about the kids and what they could end up with,” said the 38-year-old.
“If things like water or fertile soil gets scarce you will have the prime situation for warfare and conflict. Everybody needs to be mobilised and it affects everybody. If you look at business, if it doesn’t have the resources that it requires, then they won’t make the money.”
Helena said she had organised the event at short notice because it would be more relaxed and child-friendly than the larger event in Parliament Square later. It had been promoted by social media in the days beforehand.
Another mum, Lucy Facer, arrived at the park with her two-year-old son Otis and held placards saying “I want to breathe” and “#Strike4Climate”.
“The most important thing for me is it’s his future, and I feel the air here in Islington is toxic,” she said.
The national strike by thousands of school children aimed to show their anger at politicians failing to tackle climate change.
Pupils from Grafton School in Eburn Road, and toddlers from Bennett Court playgroup took part in the Islington protest with their parents.
At 11.30am the group set off with their banners and placards as they wound their way towards the Nag’s Head shopping centre. Bemused workers, shoppers and bus passengers looked on as the group shouted “strike for climate, now, now, now,” shook bells and blew whistles.
When they arrived 10 minutes later, some of the adults sang We Shall Overcome, altering the lyrics to “children need to breathe.”
Shoppers took photos of the banners being waved, but some of the children on the protest appeared distracted from the cause by the rides outside the supermarket.
One boy who was joined by his father was seven-year-old Tom Herbert.
He said: “We need less plastic in the sea. They are going to kill the fishes.”
Helena, who has lived in Mayton Street for seven years, said she thought the event went well.
“I think we learned a lot, but it was great,” she said. “I’m really encouraged by the amount of people coming and the positive response. You could see a lot of people with smiles on their faces as we marched.”