Thousands storm County Hall as part of global strike action on climate change
PUBLISHED: 15:57 20 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:47 20 September 2019
'We want climate justice, and we want it now' - thousands of protesters of all ages marched on Devon County Council headquarters as part of global strike action.
Around 3,400 people - including many from East Devon, rejected their usual education or work commitments to take part in the worldwide climate change protest on Friday (September 20).
After gathering in Exeter's city centre, they marched on County Hall, in Topsham Road, in protest at a lack of action by the government on climate change.
Exmouth dad Ian Harvey, who is a part time primary school teacher, travelled with his son.
He said: "We came to the protest in July and there was 60 or 70 people here so to see the crowds here is amazing.
"The profile of the campaign has been raised even at that time and people are getting angry about the situation.
"I am doing this for my son. It's important that we can have a future for him and that he learns this now and sees the collective difference people are trying to make."
East Devon District Council and Devon County Council have set carbon neutrality deadlines of 2040 and 2050 respectively, but Mr Harvey believes the Government and local authorities should be looking at 2025 instead.
After gathering in Bedford Square, in the middle of Exeter's shopping district, the protesters marched though the city centre being lead by a samba band which has a number of members from Exmouth.
Protesters chanted that they want 'climate justice' for 'their future' and that it's not too late to save the planet.
The march made its way along South Street and traffic was stopped on one of Exeter's busiest roundabouts to allow them to continue down Topsham Road.
Traffic was reduced to single lane as the protesters made their way to County Hall.
Some motorists were asked by protesters to switch their engines off while the march passed through.
After arriving at the county council's headquarters, the protesters gathered on a field to the rear of the site.
A number of speeches were made and there was a performance by the samba band.