GMPF Divest!

As Part of the Northern Rebellion I took part in an action on Monday 2nd September with Rising Up Families Manchester a part of XR Families.

We went to Greater Manchester Pension Fund.  From September 2019 they have £1.4  Billion invested in fossil fuel industries. We delivered handmade cards and poems asking them to think about our futures, and the future of the planet.  To invest in industries which help not harm it.

When we got there there were PCSO’s and police and they locked the building so we couldn’t deliver our cards. Which was so disappointing, especially that we were told that the Councillor Brenda Warrington, who is the chair of Greater Manchester Pension Fund, would be given all of our cards and poems, but as usual we are still waiting.

I am kind of getting used to be told that, and i know it is so we will just go away and give up – but that’s not going to happen.

I wrote a poem which I did get to read to one of their representatives  – Tameside Council’s Integrated Neighbourhood Services Manager, Kevin Garside( actually a liaison with the police they have) and I shared it on twitter and our group tagged The pension fund, and councillor but still nothing.

I got the idea from a few poems I have read recently that used repetition and I really like how they flowed.

 

Transcript  – please ignore spelling as I have typed the poem to make it easier to remember how to perform it.

 

Fossil fuels, oh fossil fuels, where did you go?

I’m in the air,

Can’t you see me?

I’m flying to and fro!

Invisible to see.

But when the children cough and choke, just now that it is me!

 

Fossil fuels, oh fossil fuels, where did you go?

I’m in the sea now changing the PH as I go!

The coral reefs turn white and die.

The colourful life that once was there, now vanished for none to see!

Black and sticky I ooze out of pipes, and escape into the seas!

Birds and fish weighed down and drowned –

– And yes! That too is me!

 

Fossil fuels, oh fossil fuels, where did you go?

I’m taking a summer holiday in the arctic, melting the ice and snow!

The sea levels rise.

The polar bears starve!

– and they’re heading to extinction because man kind rely on their cars!

 

The Amazon is burning!

The Arctic and Congo too.

Earths lungs are dying.

The Earth is SCREAMING out to you!!!

 

I’m getting kind of tired now.

There’s not much of me left!

It’s time to pass the baton to the sustainable future ahead.

I’ve caused so much trouble, but it’s really not my fault!

It’s humans not taking heed to the signs, and instead focus on there geed and want!

 

Will YOU break the cycle that’s killing mother earth?

 

Will YOU join the children and stop the hand turn?

 

We are running out of time!!!

 

We dearly need your help!

 

Will you join us?

 

will you awaken?

 

will you brave another path?

 

The children we are rising.

A force for all to see!

 

Come, join us on this journey.

Turn away from misery!

You can see the full poem HERE

It was good that we got a little publicity HERE and HERE as it helps for those that work for the council where and how their money is being invested and also shines a light on how fossil fuels are still being used because our councils, governments and, businesses have interest in them which they don’t have to as there are other safer, greener options out there.

 

It was also fantastic when the public stopped to see what we were doing and were really supportive. A woman even stopped, even though she had difficulty and said that if she could she would  have demonstrated with us and gave us encouragement to keep going. Which meant so much.

 

(updated Sept 19th)

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Interview: “A massacre that changed Britain: does Peterloo still resonate today?”

I did an interview whilst at Fridays For Future last Friday about the Peterloo Massacre that happened here in Manchester. It’s the 200th anniversary today, 16th August 2019.

The article and video looks at the politics and protest of then and now.

Video:

Full article

This is for all of us who are trying to create change!

I was featured in National Geographic kids magazine “hero of the month”.

I’m not a hero, I just have support to help me do what I do. Some kids can’t strike but do so much in their lives to make a difference.

That’s what a hero is, doing what needs to be done when no one’s watching.
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💚✊🏼 Don’t give up! .

It’s my Birthday and I’ll strike if I want to!

Today I am now 10. I started being interested in Climate issues when i was 9. I have always loved nature, but it was a geography lesson that snowballed into learning about what is happening to the planet. So a year has passed and still no action. Mum gave me the echoice of what i wanted to do on my birthday and I chose to strike – because the planet is more important than me.

And it rained – all day. Only stopping when we finished our strike – but I finally got to use my protest umbrella.

AT first I was a sad to see how few came to the strike yesterday. Its like each month, less and less people have been turning up, but then i looked around and thought it doesn’t matter. We are here and we care. Others might be busy with school, college and work, so we’ll stand for them. And we were still powerful even though we were small on numbers.

So the rain was so bad it got through the protector and the ink ran on my speech but I did it.

And what was even more special was seeing friends I have made through the strikes and Fridays for future on my birthday!

These guys are all legends!

Speech from today – for those who asked who are hard of hearing:

Hello my name is Lillia and I am 10 years old!

Today is my Birthday!!

Its been nearly 6 months since I joined the Fridays for Future group here in Manchester which means I’ve already spent 5% of my life waiting for those in power to make changes to ensure our future.

I’ve seen the first School Strike here in February, and each of the strikes since. Extinction Rebellion Shut down London. And seen dedicated people each week fighting for all of our futures.

To them I say a massive thank you!!

Especially for giving me hope for the future.

I’ve seen The UK become the first country in the world to declare a Climate Emergency, and then set a date to be carbon neutral that their idea of an emergency is a joke!

Manchester’s Mayor come here and spoke saying he would help us to fight for a better future for us children. And then nothing!! It was just words. It made him look good that was it.

I was there when Manchester declared a climate emergency, and then Bury and Salford also declare one and Oldham declare their version of a Green New Deal.

To them I say stop treating us like we are stupid. Your words do not match your actions.

This is supposed to be an EMERGENCY!!

STOP Green washing!!!

We have 5 years to stop us from going over the next tipping point.

STOP making promises you don’t mean!

We need bravery.

We need radical action.

We need big business and government to put climate breakdown as their top priority.

We need councillors and politicians to do their job – to represent the voice of the people.

We are the People!!

We are that voice!!

Every voice here matters!!

Our voices can and WILL make the difference and bring about change. We have to stay strong, Keep shouting! Keep messaging, tweeting! Keep writing your MPs! Keep asking Questions of everything they say and do!

Today I really wanted to just be a kid, open my presents and not have to think about the future which scares me. Instead I’m here with you having to fight and worrying about the problems that lie ahead of us.

Thank you for standing beside me! For making me feel a little more hopeful!

To those in power – in case you don’t know what an emergency means I looked it up for you.
An Emergency: a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.

Stop putting greed and money before all of our lives and Act!!

Thank you!

Carnival Of Creatures!

I took part in the Carnival of Creatures yesterday organised by my friends at Rising up Families MCR

We were protesting Climate Breakdown and Animal Extinction. Usually people think about animal extinction and they think or Tigers and Rhino’s. they don’t think about the insects and animals here in the UK.
They are just as important to our ecosystems. We have to look after them.
So different to the strikes, but so wonderful to be apart of it. To see so many people of all ages, especially children because we care about animals and the planet and we know that they are hurting and dieing and we don’t want that.

We dressed up as animals in danger of extinction. I went as a turtle and wore a crown I made from plastics that represent the plastics in the sea and oceans that are damaging ocean life. ( I took other people’s plastics as we use very little to no single use plastic.)

It was fun, but more importantly there were lots of people watching, asking about what we were doing – so it did raise awareness which is the main thing.

Why we marched!

My friend Dennis helping to Marshall and keep us safe.

The wishing tree was so beautiful, people of ages wrote what they wished for the planet and hung it on the tree. 💚

By the end I morphed into a butterfly.

Global Climate Strike. 24th May 2019.

Fridays Strike was amazing. I felt so much positive energy that it helped me stay calm and I wasn’t nervous getting up to speak. I didn’t write a speech this time

I just wanted to say what ever I felt at the time.

There were so many good speakers and poets. Mum got lots of videos of them so I could listen later on. I posted them in my twitter account so others could hear them too because young people’s voices matter, and we need to be heard but mostly listened to.

I was really Surprised when the Mayor for Manchester Andy Burnham turned up. As part of my activism mum has been helping me write letters and tweet MPs as well as Andy Burnham but most have been ignored or patronising responses.

Yes I do know what that word means. Adults do it a lot to kids.

What he was saying sounded good, he said Greater Manchester would never support fracking, but what I’ve learnt is that politicians say things and do – not alot. So I wanted him to say her help us and if he did that publicly maybe he would actually stick to his word.

I felt very nervous but mum said it might be my only opportunity to be this close to him ever and speak to him, so I decided to just do it.

I don’t know if he’ll stick to his promise, but I really hope he does because Manchester when it comes to pollution is not what I thought it was.

Over 2000 deaths linked to air pollution in 2018. My oldest sister has asthma, which is getting worse.

And this past month I’ve learnt that Manchester doesn’t count the carbon emmissions from the airport in its figures. Which means they are lieing about their true carbon foot print.

Like I said we can’t give up. We have to keep going. The strike was fantastic . The march was amazing and I brought my mega phone again to chant messages and met new friends and it has helped me see that there are so many that think like me and it’s given me another boost to keep going.

Especially because I’m alright right now, but out there, there are children like me and we can’t stop until there is justice for all.

Activism art by Fabiah Chowdhury. @fabihachowdhury5

Spring growing

The gardening hub has really started to grow. The unseasonable weather – hello climate change – has helped everything flourish but there has been a lot of unseasonable growing. Bulbs popping through and blooming earlier. And insects. There are so little of them, at the hub but also on my nature works. I’ve not seen any caterpillars where we usually do.

Most people I watch and celebrating the sun, but if you watch and listen to the earth hard enough you can see they are signs.

Purple Brocolli needed harvesting.

It was hard work. The roots were long and took alot if tugging to get out.

I brought home some Purple Broccolli and the flowers too as they are so pretty. And we harvested some rainbow chard.

Peas growing nicely.

Chives..I love the flowers.

The bulbs have died off in our guerrilla gardening section. We did do a little weeding but left lots along the canal fence for insects etc. We planted flowers for Bee’s.

Cumcumber seed planting.

Plotting the seed planting.

The weather keeps changing do much that we still water from the water butts whilst it’s raining, because when the sun comes back out again the earth dries up.

Its also been nice that some of the friends I made last year are back I also met the last who set up the Hub and started it all when it was just a patch of weeds and hard earth before they get a grant to out in the raised beds. I also learnt she was a labour council, and she said lots of kind words about me protesting and to keep going.

I’m also looking forward to the summer hub fayre on the 6th July. I’m making bracelets to sell and with mum’s help baking too, as we will have a stall and a money will go to the Hub so we can continue. I’m also going to make leaflets about the environment and climate change and hands those out too.