You’ve probably walked past them hundreds of times on your way into or out of the city. And yes, we say hundreds because they have been standing there, every Friday, fighting for their plight for the past 18 months.
MM went down to St. Peters Square, to the front of Central Library to find out a little bit about who was there and why?
Allen Challenger, along with his team, stood in in the cold, placards and posters in support of Greta Thunberg and the Friday for Future movement.
He says: “Manchester has been very slow to get itself together and that’s our main call.”
The protestors find there is usually quite a good turn out each Friday, they hand out flyers and speak to people about the awareness of climate change, ongoing petitions they can sign up to and just general tips as to what they can do to help.
Challenger says that people are usually welcoming to their plight, however, it fluctuates.
“When it’s in the news, like with the Australian fires recently, people are quite engaged in the issue and quite scared about it, so you will see a peak in interest in it.
Then there are times where people are busy and they don’t know what to do about it, so they put their heads down and won’t be so engaged.”
However, the general consensus is that the level of awareness is rising and people just want the council and the government to do something.
“Manchester has been very slow to get itself together and that’s our main call,” Challenger says.
“Most of the carbon reduction that Manchester has done, or that they claim credit for, doesn’t come from anything they have done locally, but nationally – that is the government changing its electricity production from coal to gas and renewable.
The council will claim credit for things, but they have actually done very little.”
Manchester is also said to have a bad reputation on the cause. Other council’s such as Nottingham council are seen to be taking leaps and bounds when it comes to climate change, but Manchester has been significantly behind and needs to address it.
Challenger left us with a powerful piece of advice on how to help the cause and that was to hold councils to account.
“There are plenty individual things people can do, but the most important right now is to pressurise the councils and hold them to account.”
Join them each Friday from 12:00 to 14:00 each week to help fight the cause.