By New Worker correspondent
AROUND 15,000 protesters marched last Saturday from London’s Lincoln’s Inn Fields to Milbank to once again reiterate the warning that the Government must take climate change seriously and take urgent measures to curb the human causes of global warming.
The march included contingents from many different campaigns: anti-fracking groups, the campaign against TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), peace campaigners, anti-austerity campaigners and many more.
There were plenty of imaginative costumes, banners and placards and a variety of bands and choirs to accompany the march, which was led by a large group of 100-plus cyclists.
But the message was deadly serious. Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: "Climate change is here, visible, and we know it's time to act. It's time to stand up against those determined to burn the last drops of oil and gas and be confident in our power to build a better future. In coming together we help build the climate movement and inspire others to join us."
She added: "Young people, parents, grandparents, those new to the movement and veteran campaigners, we can all play our part, demanding our government legislate for the common good and not short-term vested interests. We're raising our voices for a year of climate action the UK and the world has never seen before."
The march ground to a halt on several occasions as marchers and cyclists staged sit-downs outside Coutts’s Bank in the Strand and at several other strategic points, bringing London’s traffic to an unplanned standstill.
As the march passed Westminster Bridge by the Houses of Parliament a large group broke away and headed across the bridge to picket the Shell building on the South Bank.
Vivienne Westwood addressed the protesters by video link, warning "the clock is ticking." The fashion designer said: "As you march my models will be walking down the catwalk. It's very important you are there. I believe this demo is super important for the whole world.
“At the moment we in the UK need to do two things to handle everything for the best, we need to demonstrate, we need to vote in the elections."
She was joined by Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union. He said: "We are delighted to see a growing alliance between workers and climate activists demanding a just solution to climate change. It is sick that millions around the world suffer without energy."
He added: "It is sick the energy companies push the prices through the roof... multinationals care not a damn for you or their families but about their profits, that's what this system is built on. For us the answer is in democracy and that means challenging those who are in power.
“I ask, do you trust the banks to deal with climate change? Do you trust the multinationals to deal with climate change? No. That's why we say it's time to put our democracy where it belongs, with ordinary people across the world."
John Sauven, executive director at Greenpeace UK, added: "We can have clean energy, we can have clean jobs, we can have clean power if everyone on this planet is to stick together.
“This year is going to be the most important year; this is going to be the start of the biggest mobilisation we have seen on this issue of climate change and poverty."