As world leaders met in Egypt for the COP27 global UN climate summit, mass mobilisations in towns and cities across the world took to the streets on Saturday 12 November to say “This crisis demands action” and to demand global climate action now. In Newcastle, the North East Climate Justice Coalition organised a rally, march and green festival. The message is that we must urgently dismantle the fossil fuel economy and begin a just transition now.
People are being forced to choose between heating and eating while global temperatures are rising as energy companies make record-breaking profits. To stop this crisis we need action that cuts carbon, tackles inequality and ends the injustices baked into our world.
The Newcastle event
The rally in Newcastle began at 12 noon at Grey’s Monument. Speakers included North of Tyne mayor Jamie Driscoll and Anne-Marie from Divest. Two young women from North Tyneside Youth For Climate spoke: Elsa, aged 14 with performance poetry, and Gwen, aged 15 with a speech. Safiah read the letter from the sister of a political prisoner in Egypt that the Egyptian COP organising committee asked to be read at every COP 27 protest.
The fantastic Bangshees all-women samba drummers then led a march along Northumberland Street to the Civic Centre. The march paused outside Barclays on Northumberland Street when XR had an intervention – calling out organisations they are linked to – and washed their windows…
Green festival at the Civic Centre
The march then continued to the Civic Centre where there was a mini green festival with stalls including Culture Declares Emergency, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, the opportunity to ‘Ask The Expert’ with scientists and doctors, and green campaign organisations…
Climate Justice Coalition North East coordinator Anya Cook said:
“We need solutions that put an end to the inequality and injustice that we have seen riven through our society. We need investment in further and adult education to enable training and upskilling in green technologies and a just transition to climate jobs, protecting the workforce as it transforms.”
Climate Justice Coalition North East coordinator Tony Dowling added:
“We are being failed by our world leaders. Even UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says progress since COP26 last year has been ‘woefully inadequate.’ After three decades of what Greta Thunberg rightly identified as ‘blah blah blah’ it’s time to disband the COP conferences, listen to the peoples of the world saying this crisis demands climate action right now!’
Twitter: @COP26A Hashtags: #COP27 #TogetherForThePlanet