During September the LJMU Greenpeace society took part in several events aimed at raising awareness of various environmental issues.
- The first event however, was somewhat different. In the first week of university we had a two day stall at the Adelphi Hotel for the Liverpool ‘freshers fair’. The sole aim of this was to attract new members to join our society. We spoke to hundreds of people across the two day period and discussed many issues, from deforestation to unsustainable fishing practices. We gave out lots of flyers, information and stickers and recruited a fair few new members!
- Also in September we attended an anti-fracking rally at the Liverpool town hall, along with other groups such as frack-free Lancashire. Although there is not yet any fracking sites within the Liverpool city boundaries, the threat of the fracking boom heading into town is only all too real with a site only 30 minutes away at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. We, as a group, wanted to voice our concerns to the city council and represent the opinions of the student population in Liverpool…the majority of which say FRACK OFF. In the town meeting, a member of frack free Lancashire gave a speech to the council and mayor asking for their full cooperation when considering any planning applications and asked them to consider the real threat of water pollution, air pollution, climate change and tremors as a result of the exploitation of shale gas. The council cooperated and as a result of this pressure, have committed to full transparency in regards to fracking.
- On September the 22nd we all travelled to Manchester to attend the Global Climate March. We went armed with our Greenpeace ‘Not for shale’ signs and our passion to let the world know that we want action on climate change! Sooner rather than later. We marched for around 3 hours through the centre of Manchester, with several thousand other people who wanted the same thing- a better world. At the end we attended a small talk which was aimed at lobbying the labour party (their conference was being held at the hotel across the road) to act on climate change and on fracking. There qas even a talk from the leader of the Green party- Natalie Bennett.
- On the 4th of October, we took part in the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos. This as a Liverpool wide event that many people took part in across all age ranges. The LJMU Greenpeace Society coordinated the student section and got several other societies to take part as well. We all turned out in force and made our voice heard amongst the massive crowd that walked from the famous bomb out church to the equally famous Liverpool pier head. We all wanted the world to know that we wouldn’t let these magnificent animals fall into the abyss without a fight. We all feel strongly that the future generations deserve to inherit a world that is still graced by the beauty of these charismatic species.
- On the 12th of October we did a sponsored walk with Merseyside Greenpeace to a small Island off the Wirral coast called Hilbre Island in order to raise funds for the Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise, that was detained illegally by the Russian special forces when they peacefully tried to stop Gazprom from destroying the Arctic for oil. The walk is roughly 5 miles there and back and took us a good few hours…adjusting our speed for some of the older members! On our way across the beach we saw many fascinating costal species such as Velvet shore crabs, dog whelks and starfish! Not only this, but once we got to this stunning little island we were greeted by oyster catchers and Atlantic Grey Seals! In all I think we managed to raise around 100 pounds and every little helps to get our ship back on its feet and defending mother nature.
- We had a victory recently in one of our campaigns. The toy manufacturer LEGO who has had a deal with the evil oil company shell agreed after months of pressure to end its partnership with shell. After a massive and long online and physical campaign where we took pictures of our protesting Lego outside things such as the Liverpool Liver building and Mersey ferry. It as another small step in our battle to save the arctic and create a better world.
- In November Reece and Becky had their None Violent Direct Action (NVDA) Training in Manchester. This is a requirement of Greenpeace if you would like to take part in Greenpeace ‘direct actions’ (this is the more risky stuff that Greenpeace do) and is basically to help people save the environment in a more risky, but totally effective and 100% peaceful way. This included a meeting with 20 other likeminded individuals for the training and learning things such as effective ways to create barrages and how to act in a completely calm and collected manner even when under pressure.
- John west and Princes tuna have been using FDA caught tuna, which catches sharks, rays, turtles and a whole host of other marine life in its massive 5 mile long nets. This mode of fishing is totally unsustainable and is totally against what these companies had promised Greenpeace in previous campaigns. We have been heavily involved in the early stages of this campaign which involved more direct ways of getting our message across to the public.
Lately we have been taking part in a new campaign that is aimed at getting more sustainable fishing practices put in place where local people get a better share of the British fishing quota. Local fishermen currently have 4% of the quota where as ONE massive trawler ship has 23%!!!! This is outrageous and we are excited to get more involved in this new campaign over the coming weeks.