By Raymie Kiernan
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Tens of thousands fill London’s streets on mass march for action on climate change

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Issue 2481
The march was the biggest ever climate change demo in Britain
The march was the biggest ever climate change demo in Britain (Pic: Guy Smallman )

Some 70,000 people joined a mass demonstration in London today, Sunday, as part of global protests calling on world leaders to take action on climate change.

The People’s March for Climate, Justice and Jobs brought together people from all walks of life and from many parts of Britain and beyond. It was the biggest ever climate change demonstration in Britain. 

Marchers were motivated by various issues, but many argued global solutions were necessary.

Luca, an Italian living in London, told Socialist Worker that many of his friends were protesting in Rome. He said, “If we don’t change the system we won’t end the causes of pollution.”

Dorothea, a Greenpeace activist, said the devastation of the Indonesian forest fires had motivated her to march. “It’s the land of the world,” she said. “We want action from governments now.” 

She demanded the British government ended fracking and invested in green energy.

From bees to polar bears and giraffes, animal costumes were popular as people highlighted the threat to many species worldwide. There was even a troupe of dancing birds, and several samba bands.

Whole families were out marching alongside big mobilisations from pressure groups and charities, the Green Party, and several environmentalist groups and trade unionists. 

Some, like Arun from London, were on their first ever demonstration. He told Socialist Worker, “It feels fantastic, there’s a big sense of solidarity. I’ve learned that many more people care about this and that change is possible.

Emissions

“The government needs to listen to the scientific research–we have to cut emissions.”

Marches also took place in Wales and Scotland this weekend. News broke that a Scottish National Party branch in Lanarkshire had taken thousands in donations from a local firm heavily involved in test drilling and boring that is used in fracking.

The revelation is at odds with the party’s “frack off” general election slogans.

Anti-fracking activist Greg was not surprised at the news. “So many politicians are connected with the oil and gas industry and are pushing those vested interests,” he said. 

He travelled with two busloads from Nottingham and thought the protests were crucial. “Everyone who takes part can feel isolated locally, but these marches show we are part of a bigger movement.”

Asya from Kingston in Surrey argued that “to change the climate people need to be involved in politics”. She added, “We have the power to force a change for our future.”

Luca agreed, “We need to challenge the rulers of the world.”

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