Local students cut class in desperate bid to govt
IT WAS an incredible scene when hundreds of local students cut class and marched through the city centre in what was a bid to draw attention to climate change.
The local action came as part of the controversial nation-wide strike calling on the government to take urgent action on the issue.
Despite drawing the ire of politicians in recent weeks, the rally - following on from the first one held in November - saw students from several local schools, as well as adults, gather at Rotary Park today.
The event was organised by three local high school students, including Year 9 student Billie Denman.
Billie said she'd been handing out flyers directly to students ahead of the event as schools weren't able to promote students skipping class for the strike.
"The situation we are in right now with climate change cannot wait until we finish school," Ms Denman said.
A number of students spoke at the rally, highlighting why they were in attendance.
"We don't want to be opposing the government but we just want to show Australia is one country and we need to be united against this challenge ... the youth care, Australia cares, Coffs cares," high school student Ella said.
Candidates for Coffs Harbour Sally Townley and Jonathan Cassell also took part in the rally.
"It doesn't matter what age you are, this is a simple concept to understand and it affects every single one of us," Ms Townley said.
"If anyone tells you climate change isn't kids' business and you shouldn't be here, that is bull."
The turnout increased massively from the first strike held last year, which saw about 100 students take part.
The action was spearheaded by local student and award-winning slam poet Solli Raphael.
The strike drew the ire of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who implored children to stay in school.
"What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools," he said.
Opposition Leader Michael Daley, who visited Coffs Harbour this morning, supported the students.
"Good on you for standing up for your rights," he said.
"Realise the importance of what you're doing today and thank you for sending the message up the tree to grown-ups."