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Young people in Leeds care more about climate change than the Black Friday sales

YouthStrike4Climate protest on November 29 in the centre of Leeds 

By Anna Doherty

Leeds Town Hall was the scene of the latest climate change protest on Friday November 29.

All ages gathered for the YouthStrike4Climate from babies to elderly people, holding posters referencing climate change, the political climate as well as blaming capitalism as the main cause for environmental destruction.

Leeds YouthStrike4Climate is a movement which grew in response to young activist Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish girl who has been campaigning for climate change.

On March 27 2019, the movement pushed Leeds City Council to officially declare a climate emergency.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: “We will keep protesting until the national government follows step. We will keep protesting until climate justice is embedded in the UK’s agenda.”

Speaking to the young people gathered in Leeds city centre, the consensus was that they feel the government cares more about money than the future and the safety of our planet.

Jasmine Selwood, 20-year-old English & History student at the University of Leeds, said she thought that the upcoming election should focus on climate change.

Jasmine Selwood, 20 year old student protesting for climate change.

Jasmine said: “I’m here today because we are in the middle of a general election and I feel it is a climate election.

“The issue of climate change is becoming so prevalent in our society and as white people we have to use our voices of power because ultimately it is going to be indigenous people who are affected.”

Many school children skipped school or left the classroom to go and join in on climate change strikes over the last few months. The strike held last Friday was also in response to the general election and the need to elect more environmentalists into power.

In a statement the organisers of the movement said: “As the UK’s general election draws near, the YouthStrike4Climate movement will avoid endorsing any particular political party.

“Instead, they will take to the streets en masse to draw attention to the climate crisis and urge voters to consider this most burning issue when casting their vote.”

YouthStrike4Climate encourages people all over to stand up in response to climate change. In Leeds, the city council has now committed to making Leeds carbon neutral by 2030 after the UN’s shocking report on climate change in March 2019.


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