Students block city centre trams to protest climate change in second school strike in a month

  • Students and schoolchildren protest climate change in St Peter's Square
  • Protests cause disruption to tram service
  • This is the second school strike against Youth Strike 4 Climate change in a month, after a similar one last month

Young protestors at the Youth Strike 4 Climate demonstration in Manchester blocked tram lines in the centre of Manchester and brought traffic to a standstill in a dramatic bid to get their eco message across.

School pupils and college students had to be removed by police after they sat down on the tracks in St Peter’s Square.

School Strike St Peter's Square
Protestors sat on the tramlines during the protest  Pictures by Eleanor Porter

Trams with passengers were backed up after students staged the impromptu sit-on on the tracks.

Year 10 Chorlton High School pupil Eleanor Porter said: “At the end of the demonstration at about 2pm everyone went and sat on the tram tracks. At first it was only one side of the tram tracks but then a lot of people moved to the other side.

“Then it was all blocked up and about three trams were in line waiting.

 “Then the police tried to move people off the tracks and once they moved off the tracks, everyone started to march on the streets down the road. Some were marching on the tram tracks. Police were moving them out of the way.

“The police were wearing cameras on their body suits and telling people that they had the footage and they could replay it on court as evidence they had been blocking transport.”

School Strike St Peter's Square
Metrolink reported the trams were running again with minor delays at 3pm

Chief Inspector Cherie Buttle of the GMP said: “Everyone has the right to free speech and where possible, we’ll do our best to ensure there’s little disruption to local businesses and people in the area, but unfortunately we are receiving an increase in calls relating to today’s protests.

“One of the treasured memorials in our city has been damaged with chalk and, while we don’t believe there is a hate element to it, this is extremely upsetting to see and we’ll be getting to the bottom of what has exactly happened.”