The independent London newspaper

Extinction Rebellion message to Jeremy Corbyn: Be a hero

Children at Islington schools are among protesters urging Labour leader to ‘think about climate change more’

26 April, 2019 — By Emily Finch

Pupils from Ambler Primary School joined protesters at Jeremy Corbyn’s Finsbury Park office

THE Pressure was mounting on Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to meet climate protesters as activists visited his Finsbury Park office to ask him to join their cause.

A dozen protesters belonging to the Islington branch of Extinction Rebellion – the group which took over five London landmarks for nine days this month – visited Mr Corbyn’s office on Tuesday and ordered him “to be a hero and go in with the rebellion”.

Eco-campaigning children, mostly from Ambler Primary School in Blackstock Road, read out letters they left for the Islington North MP in his postbox. Mr Corbyn was not at his office at the time.

The message to the Labour leader from Esme, 9, read: “I would like you to think about climate change more. We need you to be a hero and go in with rebellion against global warming and the climate change crisis.”

Meanwhile, Ciara, 9, ordered Mr Corbyn to “stop climate change”.

She said: “Extinction Rebellion are trying their hardest but the prime minister isn’t doing anything about it. You need to help. A lot of animals are dying, like polar bears, so someone needs to do something.”

Meg, 9, invited her MP to “see the Extinction Rebellion sites because it’s important to save our planet and people”. The group left flowers for the veteran MP.

Mr Corbyn had agreed to speak to protesters after four Extinction Rebellion activists glued themselves together outside his home last Wednesday.

He was due to join a meeting at the protesters’ site in Marble Arch on Wednesday but had to cancel his appearance to attend the funeral of Lyra McKee, a journalist killed by republican terrorists in Derry.

Ambler Primary School pupils Ciara and Meg, both 9

Mr Corbyn met teen­age climate campaigner Greta Thunberg for a round-table discussion with party leaders from the Greens and Liberal Democrats on Tuesday.

Greta, from Sweden, started the school climate protests which saw thousands of youngsters gather outside Parliament earlier this year.

She spoke in Parliament, where she told MPs her generation “probably don’t even have a future any more” because “that future was sold so that a small number of people could make unimaginable amounts of money”. Carbon emissions had to “stop”, not just be lowered to limit global warming, she said.

Extinction Rebellion protesters said they would leave their sites yesterday (Thursday) but promised to continue the campaign by joining local groups.

Mr Corbyn told the Tribune that “tackling climate breakdown will be a priority for us in government”.

He said yesterday (Thursday): “I met with Greta Thunberg and some other young people who have been involved in climate action. Young people will experience the worst effects of climate breakdown and I’d like to thank these children for educating us all: we have a lot to learn from them.

“When I met with Greta we discussed issues, including rising sea levels, transport, farming, a whole lot of issues. And we agreed we will continue those discussions so that when we put forward policies in future we will continue to do what the Labour Party is doing already: measuring those policies against the environmental impact of them.

“Labour has declared a climate emergency and tackling climate breakdown will be a priority for us in government. That’s why Labour will usher in a Green Industrial Revolution to lower our carbon emissions, bring renewable industries and jobs to our held-back towns and make our homes and public transport more sustainable.”

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