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More than 1,000 people marched through Plymouth City Centre on Saturday 6th November 2021 as part of an international day of protest to the COP26 United Nations Climate Talks in Glasgow. Delegations from Plymouth’s Climate Movement marched in Glasgow at the same time.

In Plymouth, the march was still turning the corner at Frankfurt Gate as people were assembling outside the Drake’s Circus Shopping Mall at the very top of Cornwall Street (3/4 of a mile long). The biggest, loudest and most vibrant environmental protest that the City has ever seen.

Street Theatre from Extinction Rebellion and the Red & Green Spirits accompanied the march, which had banners from Surfers Against Sewage, Transition Plymouth, Rebel Botanists, Plymouth Climate Action, Campaign against Climate Change, Plymouth Climate Council, Extinction Rebellion, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Tavistock Peace Group, Plymouth Stop the War Coalition, Totnes XR, Campaign for the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, (CEE) and many others.

Trade unions including Public & Commercial Services Union (PCS – Civil Service), University & College Union (UCU – College staffs), Rail & Maritime Trades Union (Rail, Bus and Water transport workers), UNISON (Health, Social Care and Local Government workers), National Education Union (teachers and allied staff), Unite (manufacturing and general workers) and the Plymouth Trades Union Council (TUC), and political parties including The Green Party, Socialist Workers Party, Counterfire, Liberal Party, the Socialist Party and Plymouth Socialist Alliance.

Thanks to Miranda & Jerry Crowley; Greenbeanz Photography; Jackie Hilton, Tony Staunton for photos.

At the end of the march, we held a 2-hour Rally and People’s Assembly where more than 160 people stayed to discuss “The Future” in smaller groups, feeding back democratic plans for systemic change to end carbon emissions in transport, housing, food & agriculture, manufacturing consumption, and for a Just Transition away from the fossil economy at home and across the globe.

The outcomes, proposals and plans from the People’s Assembly will be used to plan and organise future events by the Plymouth Hub4Climate. Please Join Us for grassroots democracy in action, building power for climate justice from the bottom-up!

  • What do we want? Climate Justice!
    When do We Want It? Now!!!
  • No More Coal, No More Oil! Keep the Carbon in the Soil!!!
  • COP26 – Whaddya Say? 
  • How Much Hot Air have you Blown Today?
  • World Leaders? Come Off it!
  • All They Care About is Profit!
  • Blah Blah Blah – Can’t You See
  • There really is No Planet B!
  • Ten Million Climate Jobs We Need
  • To Save the World from Lies and Greed!
  • We, The People, Are Unstoppable
  • With Us Another World is Possible!
  • Deadly Heat Waves, Rising Seas, Lead to Climate Refugees
  • Corporations hear us Say, Cut Emissions right away!
  • SHOW SOME URGENCY!
  • IT’S A CLIMATE EMERGENCY!!!
  • World Leaders Hear Us Say
  • Save the Planet or
  • GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful
  • All Creatures Great and Small
  • Unfortunately Capital
  • Is Going to Kill Us All.
  • World Leaders – Get on your Bike
  • This is what Democracy Looks Like!

Letter to the Plymouth Herald, published Monday 8th November 2021

It is no good pretending. The international climate conference in Glasgow, shorthanded to COP26, is not going to do what’s needed.Despite the politicians from poorer countries imploring the rich and powerful West to help them, despite Sir David Attenborough and the Princes Charles and William taking a stand, and despite the Big Celebrities of Hollywood and Bollywood sharing their statements, for the Capitalist Class it’s “Business as Usual. And still, when 99% of scientists say we are experiencing (not predicted but happening) climate catastrophe on land and in the oceans, press and politicians join forces to fuel the sceptics and poo poo the science.

Many polls show that the majority of people are very worried about Climate Change. The “Greenwash” of lies, misinformation and false-assurances is designed to placate us, but, however powerful they think they are, we’re not fooled. The day-to-day experience of Climate Change for the working classes of the so-called wealthy West are set for endless crisis. The empty supermarket shelves, transport disruption and fuel-price hikes of the last couple of months are nothing compared with the damage set to be experienced because of global heating.

The impact of global heating is going to raise sea levels, disrupt the seasons and therefore all food production, and induce extreme weather events from flash floods to wrecking winds and high tides. Transport disruption will force sudden lay-offs, without pay, of millions of workers at a time as the last-minute production and storage strategies of our industries collapse. Energy outages – meaning power cuts – are predicted by the power companies for the very near future. The addition of fuel poverty will make winter heating too expensive for 10-15 million of us within the next 5-years, increasing the already outrageous numbers dying of hypothermia each winter in our country.  The floods to our houses, where one-in-five of us live on flood plains, will cause continuous suffering and financial ruin. The rest of us live in some of the worst housing in Europe, with poor insulation and unhealthy damp requiring costly repair and renovation.  

But don’t worry, the insurance companies, mortgage companies and financial institutions have already protected themselves against all liabilities – just look at the cladding scandal after the horror of the Grenfell Tower fire. The Great and the Good implore us to make the changes needed, but what power have we? The scientists focus upon emissions reductions – 8% each year globally from now on if we are to avoid climate collapse.  However much recycling an individual can achieve has little or no impact given the amount of global heating emissions spewing from factories and offices. The oil and gas companies aren’t going to vote themselves out-of-business.

Just 100 Corporations are responsible for over 80% of all emissions. Many of those are military – arms manufacturing being the most climate damaging single industry of them all. Whatever we do in our personal and family lives, it is Big Business that has to be changed if we are to slow down and stop the catastrophe. We need a national as well as international governmental body to lay down laws upon the Big Polluters. We need to regulate the emissions towards Zero, not the Greenwashed “Net-Zero”, by 2035 not 2050/60/70/sometime never. 

And for there to be any chance of any of that happening, we have to seize back control. Workers must demand an equal voice over what is produced, why, and how its produced to protect and rebuild the environment and climate. Communities have to take back control from the petit-corruption of ego-centric politicians. The People (we’re overwhelmingly wage-slaves) have to claim back democracy, real democracy, from the Political Class and their fat cat financiers.

The starting point for all this is Protest. 1,000 of us marched through Plymouth City Centre on Saturday and met together at a People’s Assembly to take charge of the Future.We have to join together and protest. We have call-out and call upon the business and political leaders to make the changes needed for us all to survive, or get out of our way! We may all have our preferred solution but together we know, we have to protest to survive. 

For me, its System Change not Climate Change. For that we’ll need a revolution!

Tony Staunton

Secretary, Plymouth Climate Council

www.plymouthhub4climate.org

Don’t trust “NET” anything – Net-Zero is Greenwash – too little too late. NET technologies are in their infancy, unproven, expensive but designed to make profit for private corporations through huge injections of tax-payers public money. We have all the technology we need now through renewables! Renationalise the utilities, public transport infrastructure, and all health & social care. Demand a comprehensive national plan, now!