Socialist Worker

Building the London climate demo

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2173

Protesting against climate change  (Pic: http://www.guysmallman.com/» Guy Smallman )

Protesting against climate change  (Pic: » Guy Smallman)


Tens of thousands of people are set to descend on London on 5 December to demand that the government takes serious action to combat climate change.

The protests come as more and more people feel that time is running out to save the planet.

The Campaign against Climate Change (CACC) has called a rally in Hyde Park followed by a march to join “The Wave” – a mass protest that aims to surround parliament.

The Wave has been organised by the Stop Climate Chaos coalition – a campaign group backed by over 100 different organisations.

Activists expect the protest to be big – transport is booked from towns and cities across Britain and is filling up fast.

Margaret Siberry works for Cafod, a Catholic anti-poverty charity, in Leeds. Along with organisations including Stop Climate Chaos and Tidal, Cafod has booked a train to bring 500 people to London on 5 December.

“We’ve had great interest in the train – we’ve filled over half of it already and the Co-op has block booked 150 seats,” Margaret told Socialist Worker.

“It’s important to try and influence our government and to show the amount of people who want to see some action on climate change.”

Phil Thornhill is the national co-ordinator of CACC.

He told Socialist Worker, “We’ve called a climate emergency rally to feed into the Wave event and our intention is to put some radical and concrete demands to the government.

“We think that some in the government may try to portray the protests as evidence that people back what it is doing on climate. So we want to make sure that we keep a focus on what the government should be doing by putting some specific demands.

“The demands of the rally include achieving a 10 percent cut in carbon emissions and creating one million climate jobs by the end of 2010.”

Activists are organising in their workplaces, unions and colleges to publicise the protest.

This week the NUT teachers’ union national executive unanimously passed a motion calling for a “just, global and collectivised transition” to a green economy and backing the London and Copenhagen protests.

Students are organising teach-ins to raise awareness of the growing threat that climate change poses and to get students onto the demonstrations.

Julie Filer is a student at Manchester Metropolitan University and is involved in co-ordinating the teach-ins.

She told Socialist Worker, “The teach-ins will take place under the banner ‘Education Against Climate Change – Countdown to Copenhagen.’

“The UCU union is officially backing them and we hope to persuade lecturers to turn over their lecturers to teaching about climate change.”

Go to » www.campaigncc.org for more information and for flyers and posters.

For more information on the teach-ins, or if you want to help organise one, email Julie at whoevaur@hotmail.com


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