A letter to the Sheffield Star
I was very disappointed with your coverage of the Climate Justice march on Saturday November 12th . All you had to say was that the demonstrators briefly held up traffic as they crossed the road. All demonstrations that have ever taken place in Sheffield have held up the traffic! This was not the story!
You could have mentioned how an amazing coalition of groups came together to urge the Government to take emergency action on climate justice. Trade Unions, environmental groups, religious groups, school strikers, health workers, anti-poverty groups, solidarity groups, cyclists and political parties all united in what is now by far the most urgent campaign for survival on planet Earth.
You could have mentioned the amazing creativity: the energy and joy of the samba band, the humour of some of the banners (my favourite was “How many cops does it take to arrest climate change?”) the song written especially for the occasion, the street band entertaining the crowds.
You could have mentioned some of the accounts of how climate chaos is already killing people all over the world, but especially in the global south. For instance, the heart-wrenching story of the mother who witnessed her 3 children washed away in the floods in Pakistan or those currently facing starvation due to the drought in the horn of Africa.
You could have mentioned how corporations are continuing to destroy our natural world, such as the first-hand account from the Democratic Republic of Congo where tropical forests are threatened so that the oil and mineral reserves can be exploited.
You could have mentioned the mother with her 8-year son who explained to the crowd how terrified she was of the future. The 8 years her son has lived have been the hottest 8 years on record. She said we all have a responsibility to act and must all get involved with groups working to bring solutions.
This march was Sheffield’s response to some of the most urgent issues of our time, and coverage of it should reflect this. Videos of the march and speeches are on my blog, tellthetruthsheffield.org.
Sheffield Green Party