They came, they listened, they chanted.
More than 100 passionate people showed up at Majestic Square yesterday for the Whanganui Strike 4 Climate.
Young and old stood and listened as speeches were delivered by Whanganui Girls' College student Amelia Jury, who organised the event, and others, including Whanganui District Council councillor Alan Taylor and Horizons councillor Nicola Patrick.
Taylor apologised for council adopting a watered done climate emergency declaration in a speech where he said he worried about his grandchildren.
Jury elicited the loudest response from the masses as the 15-year-old took to the stage and made an impassioned speech.
"I am just a teen," she began.
"My mind is set in the teenage world. I should be crying over boys and the party I couldn't go to, not the rainforests and the big fires, the rising oceans and the melting ice, the Government's lies and the animals that die, because I am just a teen."
When she finished, the crowd erupted in applause and the chants continued.
"What do we want? Climate justice! When do we want it? Now!"
"Water's rise, hear our cries, no more lies, it's action time!"
"Future generations want clean power stations!"
They made sure their voices were heard.
Taylor said there was a great turnout at the event and thanked Jury for organising it.
"I'm not here seeking votes, I'm here more because I worry about my grandkids," Taylor said.
"I worry about the planet.
"I will say to you and I will own up to you that I was the councillor who brought forward a motion to declare a climate emergency in Whanganui. I apologise because I was forced to water that down to get anything passed."
At Majestic Square, strikers had the opportunity to share their thoughts in written submissions which were marched to Whanganui District Council at 11am.
There, Mayor Hamish McDouall received the submissions before delivering a speech of his own and then the group left to pick up rubbish along the riverbank.
Part of the crowd was 72-year-old Peter Horsley who said the strike event was "bloody brilliant".
"I was doing green things when I was here in the '70s, we were getting the s**t out of the river, which is important," Horsley said.
"There's a huge shift in awareness under way. There are people saying that the system is totally constipated, it's broken. Young people can see that."
Horsley said a lack of action from council was one of the main issues Whanganui has been facing on climate change.
"Thank God they're moving on developing the strategy, but again it's a reflection of a very conservative way of seeing these problems," he said.
"We're going to need millions and millions of trees to be planted. There should be a commitment to planting millions of tree and the councils can do that."
Horsley would have liked to see a few more people at the event, but 16-year-old Tayla Lacy from Whanganui Girls' College said it was bigger than the Whanganui School Strike 4 Climate that took place at Virginia Lake's punch bowl on March 15.
"All of my friends are here and the school thought it was really cool that we are involved in this," Lacy said.
"I've always known about climate change since I was little then once I got to high school I learned more and had events like this to go to."
Lacy thought Greta Thunberg was doing an amazing job of highlighting the need for climate action around the world and showed her support through a sign that said "we can save the world".
She also wanted council to step up, citing the amount of rubbish that she sees littering the streets of Whanganui as a big concern.