Climate change protestors have started to gather in Manchester city centre for four days of demonstration.
Members of the group Extinction Rebellion are staging a ''family-friendly protest zone'' on Deansgate, one of the city's most polluted roads. The group, who have held demonstrations across the globe, want the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.
Climate change is listed as an issue on Manchester City Council's agenda - a climate emergency was declared last month and leaders have set a target of making the city zero carbon by 2038. In a statement, deputy leader Cllr Nigel Murphy said the council understood the urgency of tackling climate change and respected this weekend's protests. However, he warned demonstrators to be be respectful of the rights of Manchester residents to go about their day-to-day business.
We believe in and respect people's right to peaceful protest and will always work with campaign groups, alongside the police and other agencies, to ensure they can demonstrate safely.
However, a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion said despite the commitments from the council, the moves are ''barely scratching the surface''.
Most Greater Manchester boroughs and the GM Combined Authority have now declared a climate emergency. Every policy, including transport, is now supposed to consider its effects on our climate crisis and help cut carbon emissions.
The group has promised a weekend of free talks, music performances, art, training, food and workshops - as well as the installation of a five-metre high sculpture made from waste plastic, and a garden of donated plants.
Those travelling in and out of the city centre over the next four days have been encouraged to plan their journeys in advance. Last night, Superintendent Chris Hill from Greater Manchester Police took to social media to encourage people to keep an eye out online for travel updates.
In the video, Superintendent Hill also said that though the force respected people's right to a lawful protest, any illegal activity ''will be dealt with accordingly''.