Zac Goldsmith Addresses Children?s Rally outside Parliament
On Monday 23rd March, hordes of small children, dressed as furry animals with painted faces entered parliament as part of an event organised by WeCan, to hold MPs to account over climate change. They’d travelled from all over the south of England to be there, wearing animal costumes to represent the danger to animals and children of increased CO2 emissions. Mothers and children from the West London areas of Chiswick, Hammersmith, Putney Richmond and Sipson were there in force to voice their opposition to the planned third runway at Heathrow. They were also protesting against the threat of a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth, emissions from which could wipe out up to 400 species of animals.
Theo Wilson, aged 13 explained why he was taking part: “My parents’ generation have had all their fun, burning up the planet. I feel they have let us down, by not thinking about our future.’
The children’s campaign won the support of several celebrity mums, including Jerry Hall, Anna Chancellor, Laura Bailey and Gillian Anderson. Super model and actress Jerry Hall revealed that motherhood has turned her into an eco-warrior. She said “Climate change is the biggest threat the world has ever known and it is happening right in front of our eyes. All the experts say governments need to act now if we’re to have any chance of saving our children from catastrophe. So I say the time has come for us mothers to stand up and make our voices heard.”
At 5pm, parents and children gathered in Old Palace Yard opposite the Houses Of Parliament to colour in postcards to send to Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
They listened to speeches from four people: Zac Goldsmith, Colin Challen MP, Dan Vockins from “The Age of Stupid” and WWF environmentalist Kirsty Schneeberger.
Zac Goldsmith told them; ‘We can do it. Almost everything that needs doing to tackle climate change is already being done, somewhere, by someone. We just need to learn from the best examples. Other countries, from the US to Japan, from Spain to South Korea can see the possibilities. We need now to give our own politicians a kick up the collective backside.’
At 5.30, parents and children queued up in the bitter cold to enter the House of Commons. Among the many parents and children were Geraldine Nicholson of NOTRAG and a delegation of pupils from Sipson Primary School, including her own children. This school will be demolished if the third runway at Heathrow is built. West London mother and founding member of WE CAN Nadine Grieve said, ‘We hope the children will take away from this event that politicians are there to listen to what people want and act on it.’
For more information, please contact Nadine Grieve on 077786 934 607, Rebecca Frayn on 07956 551087, or Zac Goldsmith on 0208 939 0321
Note to Editors:
Mothers and children gathered at 5pm on Monday March 23rd in Old Palace Yard, and attend the lobby of the House of Commons at 6.00pm. Children were in costume carrying posters with messages including ?Coal Kills? and ?Our Future in Their Hands?.
The mothers who founded WeCan, include: writer and broadcaster, Rosie Boycott; TV journalist and writer, Jennifer Nadel; novelist and film maker, Rebecca Frayn; former tv/radio producer Nadine Grieve; actress, Denise Stephenson; novelist and columnist Kate Morris; film producer Diana Phillips; artist and author Nicola Easton; artist Milly St Aubyn.
See a short film about children made by Rebecca Frayn: When I Grow Up