We spoke to people at November’s Global Climate Strike

It took place on Black Friday


Following on from the Global Climate Strike in September, another one took place on Black Friday.

The protest began at the University of York's Market Square and continued to The Retreat so that people wanting to join the march did not have to cross UCU picket lines.

Those striking then marched to town, where organisers delivered speeches in St. Helen's square before marching around town to demand climate justice.

Protesters could be heard chanting, "climate change is not a lie – do not let our planet die." Other chants used by the protesters decried the idea of immigration being linked to climate change and proclaimed unity between students and workers.

The York Tab spoke to some of those protesting.

Anisha, a third year English Literature student and Chair of University of York Amnesty, told us: "November 29th is the biggest climate strike since the big one in September, we're getting lecturers involved and loads of students are coming. The climate crisis obviously, it's really topical and there was the climate debate last night and getting more coverage is really important."

She added how she thought it was positive that UCU had joined the strikes: "We've been out on picket lines showing our solidarity with them, obviously we totally support the work that they do and the reasons why they're striking and I think it's really nice that they're supporting us too."

Image may contain: Metropolis, Sunglasses, Accessory, Accessories, Crowd, Architecture, Pedestrian, Urban, City, Building, Downtown, Town, Human, Person

Hundreds gathered at York's St. Helen's square before they begun the march around York city centre

The York Tab also spoke to Kirsty Graham, a UCU member and a psychology research associate. She said: "I'm here as both a UCU member and a young person. Climate change is a trade union issue and it's really nice to see people realising that climate change and environmental, ecological issues are union issues and they are also party issues. When political parties ignore them and don't show up to the leaders' debates about them that sends a very strong message of how seriously they take these issues."

Image may contain: Cap, Hat, Hood, Jacket, Tree, Coat, Ground, Text, Plant, Denim, Jeans, Pants, Human, Person, Apparel, Clothing

Kirsty said she was protesting as "both a UCU member and a young person"

Kirsty added that UCU's involvement was "in solidarity with the student action and has been done in discussion with the students. UCU's support shows that lecturers are not just on strike because we want to be paid a bit more but because we care about students and we care about universities and education, an entire system that is currently under threat."

When asked what individuals can do to help the climate crisis Kirsty said "voting and becoming politically active is really important; as there are a whole load of individual things you can do that are important but what we need now is big policy change."

Nineteen year old YSJ student Aliro, who was dressed head to toe in plastic, said she had collected from her home and rubbish from the streets to "emphasis the build up of plastic in our environments and our homes."

Image may contain: Market, Pants, Person, Human, Apparel, Clothing, Shoe, Footwear

Aliro wore plastic from her home and rubish she found on the streets

She told The York Tab how we need to "reduce plastic, not just recycle it" as "plastic is a symptom of a bigger problem, like climate change is a symptom of a bigger problem. The problem is human activity and the lack of responsibility that we have on our planet, we don't care.

We are all part of this world, be it the people, the businesses, we're all just little cogs in a big machine that we call humanity. We allowed this to happen."

Image may contain: Fir, Abies, Tree, Plant, Human, Person

Green Friday placards read "for life not just xmas"

Alongside protesters at York Market Square there were many stalls encouraging protesters to get involved. One of the stalls was giving away free plants and seed packets as an alternative to Black Friday called Green Friday.

One of the organisers of Green Friday, Cassie, told The York Tab that by giving away free plants it was "promoting a green sustainable message" as Black Friday encourages "consumerism, fast fashion that does not help protect the future."

Image may contain: Pedestrian, Accessory, Sunglasses, Accessories, Crowd, Jacket, Coat, Clothing, Shoe, Footwear, Apparel, Person, Human, Text, Banner

At the protest helping to assemble stalls and offering support to the protest was York's co-coordinator for Extinction Rebellion Merry Dickinson. Merry told The York Tab how she feels the joining of UCU strike protests with the climate strike was "important and essential because the climate crisis affects us all."

She added how "the struggles" of those working in trade unions are "interlinked" with the climate crisis and "by linking the two together we are much stronger as people are united."

Merry believes that for real change to come about then it has to be systematic change however she added that by "telling people about the climate crisis we are highlighting we are in fact living in an emergency and the more people joining movements and demanding climate justice the better."

Recommended stories:

YUSU declares a climate and ecological emergency

Hundreds of York students join climate strike in town centre

10 ways that York students can tackle climate change