Marchers mobilise over climate change

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Activists gather outside the Bombed Out Church, St Luke's for the climate change march. Pic by Barry Rocks © JMU Journalism

Activists gather outside the Bombed Out Church, St Luke’s for the climate change march. Pic by Barry Rocks © JMU Journalism

Hundreds of activists marched through the centre of Liverpool on Sunday to represent Merseyside on a day of global action over climate change.

On the eve of the United Nations climate summit in Paris this week, mobilisation was called for across the world to draw attention to climate change and environmental travesties. There were approximately 2,500 similar gatherings in 150 countries.

The Paris conference – known as COP21 starts – on Monday and will see the gathering of 154 heads of state and government. The aim is to agree upon a long-term deal to limit carbon emissions.

In Liverpool ‘The Climate, Justice and Jobs’ march powered through rain and 60mph winds to bring Church Street to a standstill.

The demo began as supporters gathered outside the ‘Bombed Out Church’, St Luke’s, at the top of Bold Street at 2 o’clock. They were then led by the beat of Liverpool’s La Bamba drum band in raucous procession  through the middle of the Christmas markets in town, stopping shoppers in their tracks. It finished with a rally outside the Crown Court on Vauxhall Square.

The event was organised by Fossil Free Liverpool, a fast-growing divestment movement based at the University of Liverpool. Jay Anderson was part of the team that organised the Liverpool branch of global movement and he was thrilled with the turnout of hundreds.

He told JMU Journalism: “It shows how much people care. We want to see change and it’s so promising that so many people can come together so easy. You need organisation from the bottom and this is literally just the start of it.”

Climate change march in Liverpool. Pic by Barry Rocks © JMU Journalism

Climate change march in Liverpool. Pic by Barry Rocks © JMU Journalism

It was an opportunity for activists in the North West to stand up and be counted in the mass movement. Guest speakers during the rally included members from the Liverpool Green Group and Caitlin Cavanagh, member of UK Youth Parliament There were also speeches from the Liverpool Socialist Party and Global Justice Merseyside.

Tom Crone is head of the Liverpool Green Group, the main opposition party on Liverpool City Council.

He told JMU Journalism: “The Tories are on a mission to strip the state back to its bare bones and protecting the environment is clearly something they see as excess fat. We are going to keep on coming out like this, keeping on coming out on the streets and telling out leaders to up their game.”

About Barry Rocks, JMU Journalism