Hundreds expected to turn out for picnic protest

A passionate group of more than 700 parents, babies, toddlers and children will be protesting with a twist this weekend in a fight for more action on climate change.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 09 May, 2019, 16:21
Youth Climate Strike outside Sheffield Town Hall earlier this year. Picture Scott Merrylees

On Sunday, May 12 the crowds will march from Devonshire Green at 11am towards the Town Hall via Barkers Pool. They will arrive in Peace Gardens for a ‘sit down protest picnic’ and are expected to round up about 1pm.

Sheffield Green Parents, who organised the protest, have also written to every elected council member in Sheffield notifying them of the protest and urging them to come along and talk to residents about their concerns.

In their open letter which was sent to councillors, the group said: “Our aim, while raising awareness of climate change, is to provide a protest with an atmosphere that is friendly and unintimidating. Thereby giving voice to a percentage of the population that may otherwise feel unable to join the uprising of people fighting inaction against climate emergency.”

It comes after Sheffield City Council leaders announced they would be bringing their carbon neutral target forwards by two decades, to 2030.

They also this week introduced a new climate change focus to the Coun Lewis Dagnall’s portfolio.

Their open letter in full, the following has been sent to every elected council member in Sheffield:

“Dear Sheffield City Council,

“I write to you on behalf of Sheffield Green Parents. We are a group of parents, babies, toddlers and children brought together through a mutual concern surrounding global climate change and local air pollution.

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“We have arranged our first protest in Sheffield city centre for Sunday the 12th of May. We start at 11am from Devonshire Green and march down Devonshire Street, through Barkers Pool, to the Town Hall and Peace Gardens for a sit down protest picnic, which will end at 1pm.

“Our aim, while raising awareness of climate change, is to provide a protest with an atmosphere that is friendly and unintimidating. Thereby giving voice to a percentage of the population that may otherwise feel unable to join the uprising of people fighting inaction against climate emergency. At the time of writing over 700 people have expressed an interest in joining us on the 12th of May via a Facebook event.

“We invite you to attend our peaceful protest and speak to your constituents about why they feel the need to take to the streets with their babies and toddlers. Ask them about their concerns and what improvements they would like to see happen in regards to air pollution and climate change.

“We hope that by meeting the youngest and most vulnerable of our communities you will be inspired to act on their behalf. After our protest we request that members of Sheffield city council meet with group representatives to discuss our concerns.

“We look forward to your response.

“Yours sincerely,

“Sheffield Green Parents”