PROTESTERS drawing attention to climate change have arrived in the North-East as part of a 1,000-mile march from Northern Ireland to London.
The Cut the Carbon March walkers finish their North-East leg with a rally at Newcastle’s Haymarket today.
They arrived in North Shields on Thursday and marched to Newcastle yesterday.
The walkers are following the route of the historic Jarrow March and descendents of those who took part in the 1936 protest joined the climate change walkers at Bede’s World yesterday.
The march, organised by Christian Aid, will take 80 days. The walkers began in Bangor, Northern Ireland on July 14 and plan to march into the London Stock Exchange on October 2. Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell was a key figure in raising the profile of the march in Parliament.
He joined the protesters on their way from Tynemouth Priory to North Shields and will also be attending today’s rally.
The 11-week march is intended to persuade the government to cut the UK’s carbon emissions by at least 5% each year. It is also to highlight that it is countries stricken by poverty which are already feeling the effects of climate change.
Student Rachel Tavernor, 19, from Jesmond, Newcastle is one of the marchers – and will start her philosophy and politics degree at Durham University a week late so she can finish the march.
She said: “The first couple of weeks have been tough. My feet are blistered but walking is a great way to engage with people.”
The walkers will be visiting around 70 towns and cities and hope more than 50,000 people will join their protest along the way. Today’s rally will feature speeches and music from North-East singer-songwriter Gareth Davies-Jones. The rally begins at 11.30am at St. Thomas’s Church, Haymarket.