Leeds students lead Climate Crisis demonstration on Parkinson Steps

Demonstrators on the steps of the Parkinson Building at the University of Leeds

A student-led climate change protest took place in March to demonstrate against a new government strategy, which has been since been revised.

The protest was organised by Youth4Climate Leeds and the Leeds Uni Climate Coalition, and began with demonstrators gathering on the steps of the Parkinson Building at the University of Leeds.

The Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy original draft stated that it would not be “appropriate to encourage pupils to join specific campaigning groups or engage in specific political activity, such as protests”.

Hannah Crowther, co-organiser of the event, spoke to Yorkshire Voice about the importance of protesting: “This is a climate crisis – a climate emergency.

“We have to be in solidarity with communities on the front line of this crisis right now.”

The protest included speakers, dancing, and statements from primary school children that were read out.

The speakers also rallied about the climate breakdown more generally, and called on the University to take a greater responsibility.

After the demonstration ended, the protesters marched to the Leeds Generating Station Complex, which provides the University of Leeds with 75 percent of its energy.

Youth4Climate’s Twitter thread on the Strategy

Climate Justice Activist Fiona Quekett, also known as Captain Greenwash, said: “How I see climate action is that you can have fun, whilst also achieving some really great things.

“We all experience a lot of burn out from all of the terrible things that are going on – but by finding hope and joy in the things that we do, we can just keep going and use it as a way to fight the system.”

Demonstrators at the Leeds Generating Station Complex

The Strategy has since been re-drawn and published: “We will also ensure all children and young people, whether they live in an urban area or rural one, have opportunities to feel empowered through practical positive action.”

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