Halifax town centre climate change crisis protest - update and more photos from the day

A climate change protest in Halifax town centre including disco dancers and giant puppets has been hailed a success.

By sarah fitton
Monday, 8th November 2021, 10:25 am
The 'discobediance' dancers protesting in Halifax town centre. Photo by Helen Blagg
The 'discobediance' dancers protesting in Halifax town centre. Photo by Helen Blagg

Campaigners from Calderdale environmental groups took to the streets on Saturday as the world's leaders continue talks to tackle the climate change crisis at COP26.

The event included ‘discobedience’ dancers, giant puppets, banners and a stall, and marked the end of a week of COP26 public awareness protest events across the borough.

The week also saw an alarm sounding, with banging drums and saucepans, at main bridges in the valley to highlight rising waters, huge banners being unveiled at major road junctions, a youth strike in Hebden Bridge and a youth engagement event at Todmorden College.

Sign up to our daily Halifax Courier Today newsletter

Campaigners were raising awareness of the climate change crisis. Photo by Helen Blagg

Saturday's Halifax event was one of about 100 climate change demonstrations held across the UK on the same day, while events were also taking place in another 100 countries.

There were giant puppets representing prominent environmentalists Paulo Paulino Guajajara and Wangari Maathai to symbolise the international justice elements of the climate crisis.

The ‘Discobedience’ - flamboyantly dressed dancers - strutted their stuff to the Bee Gees’ smash disco hit ‘Staying Alive’.

The dramatic ‘"death" of the dancers at the end of the song was followed by a hard-hitting but positive rallying speech by campaigners emphasising the urgent need to address the climate crisis.

The protest was part of a week of events across Calderdale. Photo by Helen Blagg

This included a call for the UK Government to abandon its support for new fossil fuel projects and highlighting the positive advantages of moving to a green UK economy, such as the generation of hundreds of thousands of new green jobs and cutting fuel poverty through a comprehensive home insulation programme.

Richard Dyer, from one of the campaign groups at the protest, Calderdale Green New Deal, said: “Shoppers seem to enjoy the puppets and the discobedience dancers!

"These are such an eye-catching way to get across the message that we are in serious peril unless global leaders do more to address the climate crisis and our own government must start by leaving fossil fuels in the ground”

“We also need stronger action locally. It's great that Calderdale Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 but this was almost three years ago and we’ve yet to see a local Climate Action Plan from the council of how they will meet their emissions reduction target.

These eye-catching giant puppets were also part of the protest. Photo by Sue Walpole

"We need proposals soon and the people of Calderdale must be consulted and involved in its development."