Black Friday Was Also A Day of Hope

Editor Alan Tristram reports hundreds of Kāpiti citizens backed students striking for action on climate change last Friday.

The terrible events in Christchurch dominated the media later in the day.

But the Editor says we must also mark the dedicated efforts of a large group of secondary students who demonstrated outside the KCDC building in central Paraparaumu.

The students were taking part in a global day of action to compel politicians to act over climate change.

A six-hour protest

About 90 students from Kapiti College and Paraparaumu gathered at 9am — and for six hours they took part in the protest. Interestingly, girl students outnumbered the boys by at least six to one.

Hundreds of local people joined them through the day, including well-known writers like Mandy Hager (left).

A series of young speakers  urged politicians to take their concerns seriously and treat climate

change for what it is — a crisis.

Support from Mayor and Deputy Mayor

They were supported for several hours by Mayor K Gurunthan and his deputy Cr Janet Holborow.

Mayor Gurunathan said: “Keep up the fight — you are climate change warriors!’

One of the students backed him up with a placard reading ‘Polar Bears Not Playgrounds.’

Other activities continued throughout the day and an ‘open letter’ to politicians was circulated.

‘Stand with us’

Earlier in the week, Sophie Handford, from Paekakariki, a national co-ordinator for ‘School Strike 4 Climate’, said:

“Although it will be a day off school, it’s definitely not a day off education.

“We are encouraging all parents, adults and teachers to stand in solidarity with us.’

From everything I saw Sophie’s call was answered by the adults.

The best can outshine the worst

So while the terror in Christchurch showed the worst that humanity is capable of, our young students in Kāpiti demonstrated the best.






Fier Maha and Francesca Griggs address a large crowd on the green between the KCDC building and the Paraparaumu Library


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