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Protestors take to the streets of Leeds to call for radical action on climate crisis

Protestors gather on steps of Leeds Town Hall

By Sarah Smith

Protestors have marched through Leeds calling for stronger action on how to battle climate change.

The demonstration on November 29 started in front of Leeds Town Hall and followed an earlier one on November 20, which was reported to be the biggest one outside London.

In the past two weeks, there have been peaceful protests taking place in over 60 cities around the world to demand that governments act on the issue of climate breakdown.

Doctor Chris Smith, a researcher on climate change at Leeds University, said: “We should expect more extreme weather, food prices going up and many more changes such as bees going instinct.

“We have good targets, but we need actions.”

Workshops were held to spread awareness about climate breakdown, including a cooking session to encourage switching to a plant-based diet.

Mira Bogicevic, a member of the Rainbow Vegans LGBTQ+ for the Planet, said: “We don’t see how you can be concerned about the planet if you’re not vegan. Everybody fears the V word.”

Rainbow Vegans LGBTQ + for the Planet at the protest including Mira Bogicevic on the left

Nora Miles, from the Leeds Socialist Workers Party, said the government needed to tackle the issue of traffic pollution.

“The truth is that unless we get cars off the roads and unless they stop spreading carbon dioxide and fossil fuels then it’s not going to be sufficient to keep it down to acceptable levels,” she said.

“The problem is you’re up against a system which puts the profit first rather than looking at the interest in humanity and looking at the world as a whole.

“You won’t stop climate change without a system change.”

Earlier this year the UK became the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050.

The target will require the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, compared with the previous target of at least 80% reduction from 1990 levels.

Attending the protest were also two families with small children, who were holding up a sign ‘You promised us all a happy ever after.’

Teens writing their thoughts on the floor in front of Leeds Town Hall

The issue of plastic pollution in the ocean was also highlighted during the protest.

Figures quoted by Sir David Attenborough in Blue Planet 2 showed that eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the sea every year.

Mira said: “As far as recycling goes, the government doesn’t seem to be wanting people to cut down on plastic that much since all the supermarkets still sell fruit and veg in plastic.”


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