Little guys get their say

By Rhonda Dredge

It’s not often that the little guys have a chance to hit back at government but Melbourne’s strike for climate change gave them a chance.

Many cut short their last day of school to get to Treasury Gardens to have their say. 

Country kids from Echuca and Gisborne left first thing on Friday morning. 

“We’ve been here all day,” said Years 8 and 9 students from Echuca. “We got the train at 7am and will get home at 9pm.”

Emily O’Meara, a Year 9 student from Gisborne Secondary College, said the event was “pretty important” for their future. 

Their banner took a critical look at teenage preoccupations with the storming of Area 51 in Nevada to see aliens on the same day as the rally. 

“We would have gone but this is more important,” Emily said, using humour to get the point across.

Around 100,000 people joined the march and took over the top end of town, reducing traffic to a trickle on Little Collins St.

The turnout in Melbourne’s CBD topped other Australian cities as protesters streamed up Collins and along Spring St, determined to speak their minds. 

First-grader Lexie Henderson joined a mob of older students, firmly standing with her placard above her head so it could be seen.

 The Yarra Valley Primary School student insisted upon painting the letters “There is No Planet B”, her mum Rachel said proudly. 

“All of her friends were meeting at the park after school but she’s a huge animal fan. She’s interested in looking after the environment and their habitat.”

Other students used the occasion to test out their slogans. Seven students from Warrandyte Primary School arrived early and posed on the steps of Treasury. “I’ve seen smarter cabinets at Ikea,” said one placard.

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