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Global Day for Climate Justice draws crowds in Oxford

Pieter Garicano reports from the protests demanding action against climate change in Oxford.

Saturday the 6th saw a protest for climate justice in Oxford, which started with a march in Cowley and ended with a rally on Broad Street. It was attended by a “movement of movements”, including Extinction Rebellion, Oxford Climate Society and various faith and political leaders.

Organiser Chris Church, of the Oxford Friends of the Earth, told Cherwell that they were expecting a crowd of at least three thousand.

The reasons for attending the march were diverse. Some, such as Nathaniel, a visiting student from Los Angeles, said that they wanted to draw attention to the plight of the working class during the climate crisis. Others focussed more on habitat decay. All, however, said that they were there to ensure that the government took urgent action.

Jim, an Extinction Rebellion activist, spoke with Cherwell about the need to create “a movement of movements so that we can end the blah blah blah of this government and turn it into concrete action”. He emphasised that this march was an opportunity for all those who hadn’t been able to travel to Glasgow and protest the COP itself.

Allison, a Brasenose alumnus and science teacher, explained to Cherwell that she and others were there to just generally emphasise their concern to the government. She invoked the plight of future generations and young people who would be bearing a disproportionate amount of the price of climate change. “COP26 can make a difference and needs to make a difference, but for that they must make difficult decisions”.

Apart from the many activists, students and generally concerned citizens, the march was also attended by faith leaders and local politicians. Dr Sheikh Ramzy, Imam and Director of the Islamic Centre told Cherwell that for him, attending the march was about ensuring “that the air that we all breathe, and future generations will continue to need, will be free from the poison that we are putting in it”. He spoke of the cooperation between his congregation and the wider community, telling Cherwell that “everybody is here, and many of the Oxford Muslims are here. Everyone is here, as if you love your children, you want to do something about it”.

The march started in Manzil Way Gardens, before slowly making its way down Cowley Road towards Broad Street, where speeches were held. The speakers included Layla Moran, MP for Oxford West, and Anneliese Dodds, Co-Chair of the Labour Party.

Image Credit: Pieter Garicano

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