Manchester youth strikes contribute to the global fight for climate justice

  • Young students occupy St Peter's Square to continue a series of environmental strikes
  • The global youth movement unites all ages to call for government action in reducing the carbon footprint
  • Greta Thunberg will lead the youth movement from New York

Young people from across Greater Manchester are contributing to the global fight for climate justice, taking another Friday off school and college to call for urgent government action in reducing levels of carbon emissions.

Organised by the UK Student Climate Network, protesters began to gather outside Manchester’s Central Library at 10am on Friday bringing an abundance of sunshine and slogans to commence the next round of fighting for climate justice.

The strike took place three days before the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019, an international push to aid the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Young protesters worldwide are seeking  to ensure the voices of those inhabiting earth in the future are heard before damage from emissions becomes irreversible.

The strike attracted people of all ages. Sarah Darbey, 85, of Moss Side, spoke about the length of time it has taken for society to speak out against the consequences of using fossil fuels: “I think it’s a pity it’s taken people so long to touch on to what is happening. I’ve heard contradictory statements about climate change, people who deny it is happening. I’d rather not take the risk.
“It will affect the younger generation.  I don’t like to use the term ‘my children’ or ‘my grandchildren’ because it’s everybody’s children and grandchildren we’re talking about.” 

Following a loud march through the city centre, protesters regrouped outside Central Library with people queuing to vocalise their thoughts on an open mic. James Brown, 16, from Stockport, performed a poem lamenting his fear of a future if change does not take place.

The series of strikes originally began on 15 February. Previous protests brought serious disruption to the city’s transport services and the message was certainly felt by those who were stuck inside the Metro’s tram carriages as youths and pensioners sat together circled on St Peter’s Square.

GMP officers eventually dispersed theprotesters to prevent arguments with the public who were becoming increasingly frustrated with the travel disruption.

The protest seems to have support even from people stuck in traffic as the protest gets going #YouthStrike4Climate #youthstrikemcr #climatechange #manchester

Artist Mia Burgess (Instagram:@sshbby) created a piece  of artwork decorated with newsapapers that showed the faces of climate change deniers. A hanging baby mannequin represented the blocked opportunities facing the younger gneration without a solution to the current climate crisis.