On the most romantic day of the year, children from across the county gathered at the heart of the city in Bonn Square to celebrate their love for the planet.

Hundreds of teenagers from the Oxfordshire branch of UK Student Climate Network – a student-led environmental organisation – threw a 'love and inclusion' themed protest today to bring together people of all ages who share their fears about the climate.

Marching alongside them were their parents and grandparents who held placards that read ‘The children united can never be defeated’, ‘System change not human change’ and ‘Dismantle the oil industry’.

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The adults also formed a long human chain around the pupils to signify the support for their decision to strike from Friday’s lessons.

Oxford Mail:

This was the first climate emergency rally for 13-year-old student Catherine Monelle, who had travelled from Chipping Norton with her mother Susannah Monelle.

Holding a cardboard banner, the girl said: “It is quite exciting, though I honestly thought there would be more people here.

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“This is my future and I have not had a chance to make any impact yet. I may not be able to change a lot but it is important I do my bit.”

The teenager added she learnt about the protest from her school teachers.

For many of the other children, yesterday’s protest marked a one year anniversary since the first school strike in Oxfordshire that took place in February 2019.

Oxford Mail:

One of the co-ordinators EJ Fawcett, above, said that in terms of actual governmental action not much has changed in the past 12 months.

The 18-year-old striker explained: “We will continue to rally for the foreseeable future but we might have to change strategy.

“We do not want to have to strike at all, we want to be able to live our lives and play videogames, read books and go to school.

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“If the government’s inaction continues, I am not sure what people are going to do long-term and they might consider doing something more disruptive.”

After the campaigners marched in the centre of Oxford they returned to Bonn Square where musicians from Band For Climate played played songs for all protestors to sing together.