Youth Strike

Manchester school children demand climate change action

  • School children from across city protest against climate change
  • Greater Manchester mayor challenged on climate change action
  • Protest sees streets of the city brought to a standstill

The streets of Manchester were brought to a standstill on Friday as hundreds of protesters took part in the global youth strike for climate change.

The protesters included school children from across Greater Manchester calling for more to be done to tackle climate change.

School children in the protest

The event held at St Peter’s Square included speeches from activists as well as Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.

He was challenged on stage by two young speakers including 10-year-old Lillias and 19-year-old Fabiha Chowdhury who felt not enough is being done to tackle the climate emergency.

As evidence that politicians are taking climate change seriously, the mayor set out his recent introduction of free bus travel for 16-18 year olds encouraging young people to use public transport.

However, this did not appear to win over the crowd.

Fabiha said afterwards: “I don’t want a false statement that you are going to do this or that, I want the actual truth.”

Andy Burnham Speech
Andy Burnham speaking to protestors

The mayor went on to admit that he had “not done enough” but stressed that under his leadership Greater Manchester had taken positive steps.

He said real change lay with the government and urged protestors to keep up their actions and continue to raise awareness of the issue.

Protestors later set out on a march across the city centre bringing traffic to a standstill. Organisers were handing out leaflets to those held up and apologising as the protest went along. 

Youth Strike Protest
Protestors marching through the city centre

The march came to an end at a former industrial estate in Ancoats where a mass ‘die-in’ occurred.

Manchester City Council currently has plans to develop the site but protesters have called for it to be turned into green space which they say the city is lacking.

Youth Strike Protest
Greater Manchester Police on scene at the protest

Earlier this year the council declared a Climate Emergency within the city and set out the city’s target of becoming zero-carbon by 2038. 

On Friday, protests occurred in nearly 3,000 cities around the world all inspired by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.