ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners from Lymm joined hundreds of climate change activists in central Manchester, shutting down Deansgate and blocking several roads into the city centre last Friday (August 30).
Activists blocked the roads from 7.30am on Friday and gathered as part of the Northern Rebellion, organised by climate change group Extinction Rebellion.
Deansgate, a main route through Manchester, which has some of the worst air pollution in the city, has been turned into a car free zone by the protest. One of the boats seen in the protests which caused disruption in London earlier this year was also parked in the city centre.
The Extinction Rebellion group is also running workshops, family activities, talks and hosting music acts on a main stage as part of weekend of peaceful protest.
Manchester city council has declared a climate change emergency but has been criticised by environmental groups for continuing to press ahead with expansion plans for Manchester Airport and granting planning permission for a large carpark next to a school in an area of high air pollution in the city centre.
Jen Murphy, a mum from Lymm said: “I genuinely feel like I have been left with no option but to protest – this is the first protest like this that I’ve been to. We’re in a climate emergency and politicians are simply not doing enough. The atmosphere in Manchester was very positive and we had lots of support from people who were taking leaflets and stopping to talk to us.
Another Lymm resident Zoe Cohen, said: “Decades of polite campaigning haven’t worked – we are in climate breakdown and the 6th mass extinction is underway. The United Nations, Prince Charles and David Attenborough, amongst many others, all agree humankind is facing existential threat. This is not an ‘environmental’ issue, this is about the real potential for social and economic collapse within our lifetime. The seriousness and urgency demands peaceful direct action and non violent civil disobedience to achieve the widespread system changes that are needed.’