One of the largest demonstrations ever to take place in Guildhall Sq Southampton unfolded today, ahead of COP21 negotiations in Paris.
The enormous crowd many representing local community groups peacefully congregated to listen to the speakers, Jenny Barnes (Organiser) focussed on positives like the 25% of electricity produced from renewables this year. Rebecca Kinge (Dangerous Ideas and a fan of polar bears) urged community spirit. A handful of politically motivated chefs served FREEGAN food, under the banner of Food Not Bombs FNB. There was West Solent Solar Cooperative having arrived in support and ready to encourage people to invest in renewable energy. The popular War on Waste campaign CURB (the real junk food project Southampton) were handing out salvaged food from supermarkets.
After lunch time the crowd sung along with the newly formed Southampton Red Notes choir. Southampton & District Green Party set up stall and it was a pleasant surprise to have some Bournemouth members and a group from Portsmouth that were happy to bus it to Southampton, the nearest Climate event to their City.
As the local Green Party we were delighted to be able to represent the radical agenda that the party offers on combating climate change. We spoke with attendees of the demo about our commitment to keeping fossil fuels in the ground and our complete opposition to fracking. We also argued for a Green Deal that could see a boom in the green industries adding hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs to the job market as well as bringing down energy costs for all in the long-term.
This government and the previous coalition have completely let the people of the UK down over their lack of commitment to tackling climate change. They have shown themselves to be in the pocket of the fossil fuels industry and we must continue to call them out on this whenever possible. Our Green Party is committed to finding low and carbon-free solutions to the local area’s energy, housing and transport issues.
Through the coming together of like-minded groups and individuals at events like today we are all letting the council know that the status quo will not do and you must come with us and lead the way in to a carbon-free and more prosperous environment.
Kieren Brown, who has declared his intention to stand in the 2016 Southampton City Elections for the Green Party, remarked; ‘The fact that on a cold windy day so many people came out to campaign for a real solution to the biggest global crisis since WW2, shows there is a need for global leaders to bring forward a big solution, that will ensure a real effort in combating climate change. Any strategy derived from the world stage needs to start at home with the local council, by making efforts to reduce car use and to bring forward proposals on more sustainable, renewable energy.’