Opinion split among Sheffield residents over climate change protests

Activists who ‘painted the streets’ of Sheffield as part of their call to end climate change have sparked a mixed reaction from Star readers.

By Lee Peace
Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 11:53 am
Updated Monday, 1st April 2019, 5:39 pm

A group called Extinction Rebellion created chalk pictures and scrawled facts about the ecological crisis on various pavements around the city centre on Saturday.

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They said their aim was to keep the climate emergency firmly in the spotlight.

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Protesters outside Sheffield Town Hall.

But the day of action has split opinion among Star readers, with some saying they should have made their point in other ways.

Stephen Hancock said: “The truth is if they walked to school or cycled to work they would get far more respect for what they want to achieve and they would be actually doing some good.”

Tommy Chinn believes “action needs taking 100 per cent” but added he is “not sure stopping traffic and painting the streets is way to go about it.”

Simon Carey posted: “They should put their minds to better use and lobby for a tram extension.”

But Martin Hickman praised the group and said: “Looks like the young are more politically astute.”

Extinction Rebellion’s latest action comes after they helped to organise two school strikes to get their point across.

Activist Nathan Strathdee, aged 19, said: “It is vitally important that people comprehend the scale of the climate crisis that faces this beautiful planet. This can be hard to do through pure facts and figures alone.”

Last week, Shadow Environment Secretary Sue Hayman MP declared a national climate and environment emergency in the House of Commons and challenged Michael Gove to do the same.

Meanwhile, Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh claimed austerity measures were contributing to the problem as “vital agencies such as Natural England” have had their budgets cut. It also comes after a wave of motions passed by local councils, including Sheffield Council, declaring a climate emergency.