On the climate change front line

Interested by what I saw on local news about the Extinction Rebellion event on Victoria Bridge by the train station I took a short trip down Dewsbury Road to see what was going on.

I was greeted by young people, many dressed in yellow alongside a yellow boat with the slogan “planet before profit”. People were friendly and wanted to share why they were there.

There is limited time to stop the rise in global temperature that is leading to extreme weather conditions. If the increase isn’t stopped soon, the changes will get out of control. There was dancing to a live band, a communal kitchen with free food and drink for those that wanted to give up their time to make a point about pollution and climate change.

As someone who lives a very short distance to the heavily polluted Dewsbury Road and as a resident of Beeston (one of the few areas being left out of the proposed Leeds clean air zone), I’m glad that they are doing this. Our politicians need to make a much greater commitment to reducing carbon emissions etc.

This will inconvenience those of us travelling in and out of the city a bit this week, but that’s a small price to pay compared to the people who are losing their homes due to flooding or living in Beeston breathing in heavily polluted air on a daily basis causing respiratory problems which medical statistics show are some of the highest in Leeds already.

One of the speakers talked about a big protest against climate change on Friday 20 September that everyone can do something for. So if you’ve got some time pop down to the Bridge and show your support, take some food and think what you can do to raise the issue on 20 September, and let’s all look forward to a cleaner and healthier South Leeds.


This post was written by Sam Kirk

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4 Replies to “On the climate change front line”

  1. Leeds City Council and the police are a disgrace for allowing this protest to continue. They have had their say and their little bit of fame now get it moved, but not before ensuring they clean up all their graffiti. I cannot imagine how much the policing bill will be for something which should have been stopped yesterday.

    1. Gareth Jones sounds very angry. I would say that this anger is misplaced. “Allowing” this protest to continue?! We do have the right to peaceful protest in this country. There will be no mess or graffiti left behind. The protesters are highlighting in the Financial District of Leeds that this system cannot continue if we are to have a planet left to live on. I do so wish that people could be reasonable when they comment on things that are happening. There are many events in the city that cause delay, disruption and road closures. The protesters are workers and students and are giving their time to make a change, Well done to them I say.

  2. Thank you for attending and reporting Sam. There seems to be a terrible amount of ignorance and anger around Extinction Rebellion. Many people are actually insulting the protesters. But without protests we never get the progressive change we need as a society. This is true of votes for women, LGBT+ equality and liberation, Equality for Black and Asian people and Travellers. Our bosses and politicians are continuing with fracking and a third runway at Heathrow and so although Parliament did declare a Climate Emergency in reality they are not listening. Yes there will be disruption for travel etc – but hey, we regularly have disruption from things like marathons, Tour de France, parades etc. So, let’s be together to protect the planet so future generations can live here.

  3. 20 Sep 2019 another protest? GREAT! We need many more! Will have to get in touch and organise free yoga4leeds class to make the numbers bigger and bring Feed the Love soundsystem. Time to act!

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