Global Climate Strike: Worthing town centre taken over by hundreds of climate change campaigners

Ruby Pescott, left, and Mabel Beverton-Trewin, centre, at the Worthing climate strike rally
Ruby Pescott, left, and Mabel Beverton-Trewin, centre, at the Worthing climate strike rally

Hundreds of protesters took over Worthing town centre this morning (September 20) to take a stand on a hot topic.

As part of climate strikes taking place across the planet, Worthing residents came out in force to demand the authorities take action against climate change.

The Worthing climate strike rally took over the town centre

The Worthing climate strike rally took over the town centre

The crowds met outside Worthing Town Hall at 11am, where they marched down Chapel Road and through the Montague Quarter. Here, they sat down and staged a 'sit-in' for 12 minutes - 1 minute for every year humanity has to save the planet, organisers claimed.

From here, campaigners made their way to Beach House Green where they heard speeches from those taking part in the event.

It was spearheaded by Mabel Beverton-Trewin. The 16-year-old Worthing High School student had taken part in climate change rallies in Brighton but decided it was time her hometown had its own - and she was bowled over by the turnout.

She said: "It has been absolutely amazing - it just shows how many people care.

"Our planet is quite literally on fire. You hear about the Amazon rainforests - 74,000 fires reported - and we have less than 12 years left to stop this. It is my future, it is my children's future, it is my sister's future, and the people in power are not doing enough."

Protesters gathered outside Worthing Town Hall heard a speech from the Mayor of Worthing Hazel Thorpe, who welcomed the campaigners.

"You are all commended for your commitment to the future of our planet," she said.

The mayor added that Alex Bailey, chief executive of Worthing Borough Council, would speak to representatives over coffee about what the council was doing to curb climate change.

This drew derision from the crowds, with one protester shouting 'this is an emergency: we don't need coffee, we need action'.

Ruby Pescott, 15, goes to Our Lady of Sion Senior School. A friend of Mabel, she was among those who made a speech at Beach House Green. Speaking during the march, she said: "I think it is incredibly irresponsible for the adults to leave us with this problem. I'm not someone to sit around; if I can make a change, even the smallest change, then I will."

Mabel organised the protest with help from Worthing Extinction Rebellion and Worthing Climate Action Network. The latter has been fighting for West Sussex County Council to divest its pension fund from oil companies and into the renewable energy industry.

Emma Cameron, chairman of Worthing Climate Action Network, praised Mabel's hard work, adding: "It is really important that people take notice. We want our local Government and the Government to stop burning fossil fuels and start restoring nature."