A letter to the Sheffield Star

Dear Editor


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.

Graham Wroe

Sheffield Green Party

Ashley Routh
Ash Routh

Last year the UK made a commitment as COP President to update its climate targets to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
Since then, the Government has done the opposite – introducing new oil and gas licences and rolling out road and airport expansion.

It will not even rule out the opening of a new coal mine in Cumbria.
Despite the stark evidence of climate breakdown and the catastrophic impact it is having on developing countries like Pakistan, the Government is failing to honour its own climate pledges.
It is shameful that at a time when people across the world are seeing their lives destroyed by climate change, the UK government could not live up to its commitments and set meaningful climate targets that would protect millions of people.
The Green Party has a vital role to play in putting pressure on Rishi Sunak to revisit the UK’s climate targets to curb carbon emissions and keep the global warming goal on track.
The UK must show climate leadership and put climate action and helping poorer countries most impacted by climate change at the top of the agenda.
Time is running out.
Help us hold the Government to account. March with us on the Climate Demonstration organised by the Climate Justice Coalition from City Hall at 12 noon on Saturday 12th November. Join the Green Party here.

Yours faithfully
Ash Routh
Walkley Green Party


Videos from this event can be found here.