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Frome teenager goes on strike for the Congo

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A FROME teenager is striking outside Frome Town Hall to raise awareness of fires that are threatening the Congo rainforest in Africa.

14-year old Grace Maddrell, who is home-schooled, is striking every day outside the Town Hall from 11am to 1pm, except Fridays when she travels to larger towns and cities to strike. 

She is appealing for people to join her in her mission to raise awareness of the plight of the second biggest tropical forest in the world. 

“I am a climate activist with Fridays For Future and Extinction Rebellion,” said Grace. “Recently, I heard through Twitter about a Ugandan girl called Vanessa Nakate, who is striking every day to save the Congo rainforest, which is burning, and I decided to join her. Since I’m home-educated, I have the freedom to strike every day. 

“I made a sign, and started striking. The first day I was in Aigurande, France, near where my father lives. The second day I was doing it in Paris, which is en route back home to the UK. The third day in London. And then I was back in Frome, where I have lived for six years.

“So, I started striking outside Frome Town Hall. I chose this location because it is a focal point and a lot of people pass by; it is where local decisions are likely to be made; and it has facilities, which is useful! 

“My reception in Frome has been okay. The council, when they take notice of me, are very kind, giving me cups of tea and so on. Some of the general public have also been great. But by far the majority are indifferent – glance at me, then (walk) away, ignore me. 

“The good news is that I have got hardly any hate. But some more notice would be so appreciated. When you’re striking alone in the cold, small acts of kindness such as a wave and a thumbs up really mean a lot. 

“But better by far would be company. I will be outside Frome Town Hall every day from about 11am-1pm, except on Fridays when I will go into bigger places such as Bristol to do Fridays For Future strikes. And if I’m away, of course! 

“So, make a sign, wear warm clothes, and sit outside the Town Hall with me, no matter who you are – although it would be great if some more young people would join me. The Congo is burning. Yet no-one is talking about it. The Amazon, Australia and California burn, it’s absolutely terrible, of course, but it is talked about. Most people don’t even know that the Congo rainforest is burning.

“A few young people across the world, including me, are striking daily to talk about it. It needs to get in the news. It’s not fair that we have to do this. Talk about it, shout about it, write about it. Your words are powerful, so use them for this.” 

One Response to Frome teenager goes on strike for the Congo

  1. Richard Goepffarth

    November 21, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    Grace,

    It’s fantastic what you are doing. I’d love to join, and I do in my thoughts.

    I’m 49 and I have the same worries as you have.
    So please don’t get teared down and continue. Winter is coming and it is going to get tougher on all of us.

    I’ll continue to join Friday strikes at my nearby city and for me most importantly change my habits and consuming. Try to be an example for other ( grown ups) not to be afraid of changes.

    Thank you for your engagement.

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