Climate change activists campaign on streets of Wakefield

Climate change protesters took to the streets of Wakefield to demand action on global warming.
Climate change protesters took to the streets of Wakefield to demand action on global warming.

Climate change protesters took to the streets of Wakefield to demand action on global warming.

Environmental activists held a peaceful protest in the city centre as part of a day of global action to warn about the dangers of climate change.

Climate change protesters took to the streets of Wakefield to demand action on global warming.

Climate change protesters took to the streets of Wakefield to demand action on global warming.

They gathered outside County Hall in Wakefield to listen to speeches, sing songs and raise awareness about protecting the planet.

The event was part of a global “climate strike,” demanding action on climate change.

Speaking at the protest, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield said it was the biggest issue the world had to tackle.

He said: “So much is happening in our world at the moment around climate changes every day we’re in some disaster, there some news we need to take seriously.

Climate change protesters took to the streets of Wakefield to demand action on global warming.

Climate change protesters took to the streets of Wakefield to demand action on global warming.

“The churches need to play their part particularly because churches are universal.

“Climate change is the biggest issue facing civilisation. It’s not just affecting Europe nor the west. It’s going to affect the whole world beginning with the poor who are going to be the first to be affected.

“It’s great to see everyone here and the next time we meet again I hope there might be four times as many people here.”

The event was organised by Wakefield Just Transition forum.

Coun Olivia Rowley said Wakefield Council was taking action on climate change.

Speaking at the event, she said: “ We need to look at the whole earth and what we’re actually doing it. I think one of the issues how much there is to learn and know and to develop on and work on.

“As a council we’ve been doing a lot of positive things since 2013. But this year we declared an emergency and we’re speeding up our plans. Next year we’re announcing a 10 year plan.

“We need to look at every aspect of our lives to see if we can actually lead better lives in terms of the world and then we can keep going to governments locally nationally and worldwide to say what are we going to do about this incredible dilemma that we’ve got that’s destroying our beautiful world for future generations.”

Other organisations that took part in the protest included Amnesty International, Wakefield Green Party, Wakefield Quakers, Pontefract Extinction Rebellion and Wakefield District City of Sanctuary.

A free lunch was also served up by The Real Junk Food Project.

Gareth Forrest from Wakefield TUC said public transport should be greener and should be in public hands.

He said: “The public transport system needs to work for passengers not for profit, that’s why we need public transport in public ownership.

“We want to campaign for a system that works for everyone. Not just for public transport but for a new economic system that is low carbon and works for the ninety nine per cent and not the one per cent.”

“They want us to talk about plastic straws because if we are talking about plastic straws we are not talking about the real threat to life on earth.”

Stuart Boothman of Just Transition Wakefield, said it was important the climate change movement was active in Wakefield.

He said: “This brand new organisation is a collection of trade union groups, political groups, individuals who share the exact same concerns.

“All of us have come together with all the same one intention, we have to act now or we will run out of time.

“We started seeing protests in London and Manchester but it is no good just being in the big cities it needs to be everywhere.”

Demonstrations took place in cities around the world, from Bangkok to Berlin, as part of the climate strike.

It was inspired by teenage activist Greta Thunberg.

A follow-up to the protest will be held tomorrow – Friday, September 27 – organised by Just Transition Wakefield to bring people together to tackle the climate emergency.

It will be held 6.45pm in the Old Restaurant Room at Wakefield Town Hall.