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Hundreds attend Climate Strike rally in Peterborough

Climate change rallies were held in cities and towns around the world on Friday. It was called 'Global Climate Strike.' In Peterborough, hundreds of students left class over the lunch hour to protest climate change at Confederation Park. Mark Giunta reports.

Peterborough’s Confederation Park was full of students over the lunch hour Friday afternoon.

Students carrying signs, chanting and demanding all levels of government take action on tackling climate change.

READ MORE: Student protesters worldwide skip class, hit the streets for Global Climate Strike

It was part of a larger global protest called Climate Strike – where many took to the streets in cities around the world on Friday.

WATCH BELOW: Global Climate Strike – Protesters march worldwide to demand climate action

Global Climate Strike: Protesters march worldwide to demand climate action
Global Climate Strike: Protesters march worldwide to demand climate action

“It’s a matter of now or never,” said Nico Ossa-Williams, 17.  “If it’s not addressed, none of the other policies will work.”

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Many of those high school students are still too young to vote in the Oct. 21 federal election, but, that didn’t stop them from speaking up to get their voices heard.

“What we do is come here and take to the streets and talk to the adults and tell them to please put climate as a priority in your votes,” added Ossa-Williams.

“We are sitting in the streets instead of sitting at our desks.  We are missing our lessons to give you one.”

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“This is the way to get my voice heard because I can’t vote.  If we can talk to our elected officials, then we can urge them that the youth, who can’t vote, are telling them that it’s our future and we want the climate to be prioritized,” said Kaia Martin, 16.

“This is the only way to get our voices heard, so we need to make them know,” added Dana Jordan, 16.

READ MORE: Greta Thunberg arrives in New York after 2-week zero-carbon yacht journey

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All of the Peterborough-Kawartha candidates stopped by the rally to speak with the students, including Ken Ranney of the Stop Climate Change Party.

“I think it’s wonderful. Clearly the children will be involved in what will happen,” Ranney said.

“They realize if there are catastrophic changes in our climate and global warming, they will be involved.”

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The rally remained peaceful as officers with Peterborough Police looked on.

Protesters lined the sides of George Street in front of city hall as motorists drove through, many honking their horns in support.

WATCH BELOW: ‘I want you to listen to the scientists’ – teen activist Greta Thunberg on climate change

‘I want you to listen to the scientists’: Teen activist Greta Thunberg on climate change
‘I want you to listen to the scientists’: Teen activist Greta Thunberg on climate change