Extinction Rebellion campaigners plan to block these roads in Leeds city centre on Friday

Climate activists surround a pink boat that has been parked during an Extinction Rebellion demonstration at Oxford Circus, London (Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire)
Climate activists surround a pink boat that has been parked during an Extinction Rebellion demonstration at Oxford Circus, London (Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire)
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Campaigners are planning road block protests in Leeds city centre to raise awareness of climate change.

Members of Extinction Rebellion say it is 'unacceptable' that Leeds City Council supports the expansion of Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) despite recently having declared a climate emergency.

The group are planning 'swarming' activity, where roads are blocked for seven minutes at a time, on Friday May 3 at 11am.

Extinction Rebellion have said they want to see "radical change" to "minimise the risk of human extinction and ecological collapse".

-> Leeds Council to declare climate emergency in the city

During ten days of action in London last month, activists glued themselves to and sat on top of trains on London's light railway, marched on Heathrow Airport, glued themselves to the entrance of the London Stock Exchange and chained themselves to Jeremy Corbyn's home.

More than 1,100 arrests were made but organisers of the Leeds protest say swarming activity does not usually result in arrests.

The Leeds Youth Strike for Climate - who have organised strikes from school over the past few months - say that while they have not 'endorsed' Friday's action, they 'support their intention to bring awareness to this issue given its inconsistency with the council's recent climate emergency declaration.'

-> Hundreds of children miss school in Leeds for Youth Strike 4 Climate at Town Hall

An Extinction Rebellion spokesman said the LBA expansion would 'set us back trying to reduce the rising levels of air pollution in Leeds which is already estimated to topple over the legal limit of air pollution by 2020.'

He added: "It will also have a large drop back effect on the already challenging but necessary goal of reducing our carbon emission levels globally to net zero by 2025.

"The disruptions seen tomorrow will be minor in comparison to the disruptions we will see in the years to come."

-> Hundreds of Leeds children join global school strikes demanding action on climate change

In March, Leeds City Council declared a 'climate emergency', calling on the government to provide them with the funding and powers to become carbon neutral by 2030.

In a letter to all Leeds councillors, the Youth Strike For Climate Leeds coordinating team also highlighted plans for more parking space at Kirkgate Market and the proposed destruction of trees at Lawnswood roundabout as examples of the council's 'inconsistency'.

They wrote: "We understand that meeting the requirements of a climate emergency environment won’t be easy for our councillors.

"It will require new waves of thinking and bold action at all levels of government, which will mean difficult decisions and courageous visions by our local leaders.

"We are firm and serious in our stance that should Leeds City Council fail to rise to this ambition as it is currently doing, then our councillors are effectively sealing the fate of catastrophe for the citizens they should work to protect.

"Not through a lack of compassion, but simply because they are not thinking through the long-term impacts of what they are truly endorsing."

Which road will be targeted

Details are still being finalised by organisers but roads targeted include:

Bishopgate Street, Neville Street, the Headrow, and possibly around the Town Hall and Infirmary Street.

Leeds City Council have been contacted for comment.