Climate protesters rally outside insurance company's Leicester offices

Plus: break-ins across east Leicester, new homes at Western Park and turmoil at LRI.

Photo of protestors attaching a sticker to the Tokio Marine HQ sign

In Focus

Climate protesters rally outside insurance company's Leicester offices

by Rhys Everquill

A protest highlighting the climate crisis took place on Friday, 1 March, outside the Leicester offices of an international insurance company.

Around 30 protesters from various groups, including Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion, joined forces to picket the offices of Tokio Marine in Rearsby. 

The group demanded that Tokio Marine participate in an urgent transition from harmful fossil fuels to clean energy. The protesters want the company to refuse to insure new fossil fuel projects, hoping that a lack of insurance coverage will prevent the projects from going ahead.

One of the protest organisers, Dave Pearson, 64, said: "For ten years, I lived in Chad, one of the poorest countries in the world. It's already being devastated by the climate crisis, and we're making it worse.

"If we can't make rapid and radical changes to how we live, then hundreds of millions of people around the world will starve".

Other than security staff, the offices appeared empty. The protesters handed the security staff a letter with their demands to pass to Tokio Marine management.

Drumming and speeches kept spirits high in cold, rainy conditions, and the protest was good-natured. The protesters had built large mock oil pipelines from cardboard. They made no attempt to lock themselves to anything or enter the premises. Only six police officers were present, and they made no arrests.

The protest also included drama, song, fancy dress and leafleting to communicate the message.

The complete list of demands to Tokio Marine asks them to 'stop enabling fossil fuels by declining to insure new mining projects', 'respect human rights through diligent awareness of the activities they insure' and 'assist a just transition away from fossil fuels by backing renewable energy projects, and by supporting communities impacted by the climate crisis'.

Leicester resident and public health researcher Dr Becky Sindall, 37, is another organiser of the action. Before the protest, she said:

"Insurance companies like Tokio Marine give fossil fuel companies the confidence to destroy our planet by covering financial losses when things go wrong. 

"We want to send a clear message to Tokio Marine to stop insuring fossil fuel projects and start improving the environment as they claim to do in their sustainability charter".

The protest was arranged as part of a week of global activity targeting Tokio Marine coordinated by the umbrella organisation Insure Our Future.

Tokio Marine did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

  • This article was amended on 31 May 2024. An additional line was added for clarification: 'Tokio Marine did not immediately respond to requests for comment.'
Co-operatives UK

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Weather Forecast

by Phil Morrish

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In the News

by Rhys Everquill

  • Break-ins at places of worship: Seven churches, mosques and temples were targeted in a series of robberies across east Leicester between 21 January and 26 February. Several faith leaders have spoken out since. Leicestershire Police is investigating each incident – BBC Leicester
  • Search for Xielo Maruziva: Two weeks ago yesterday, two-year-old toddler Maruziva fell into the River Soar at Watermead Park. Both Leicestershire Police and private search teams are still scouring the waters. Large river sections have been closed to the public for the duration of the incident – Leicester Mercury
  • National Offer Day: A record number of children, 4,370, were offered a place at a Leicester city secondary school this week. This is the eighth consecutive year of increasing numbers of applicants being granted places at city schools, up from 3,541 in 2016 – Leicester City Council
  • New homes at Western Park: Leicester City Council's planning committee will meet on Wednesday, 6 March, to debate planning permission for 20 new homes at Western Park. Planning officers have recommended councillors approve the scheme despite 58 objections from the local community – BBC Leicester
  • Historic Leicester hotel set to become flats: A 130-year-old hotel on the corner of London Road and University Road will become flats after a successful planning application. The Park Hotel, as it used to be called, had become rundown over the years – Leicester Mercury
  • Winter turmoil at A&E as staff and patients speak out: The Gazette investigated reports of understaffing and overcrowding at Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) last week. In this article, we hear first-hand accounts from frontline workers and patients as they reveal the crisis gripping A&E – Great Central Gazette
Staff and patients expose turmoil at A&E amidst overcrowding and understaffing
First-hand accounts from frontline workers and patients reveal the crisis gripping Leicester Royal Infirmary’s A&E department.

Photo of the Week

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A shot looking over Welford Road Cemetery. Credit: xjasmine_hx

An evening snap over Welford Road Cemetery by University of Leicester student Jasmine.

What's On

by Leah Everquill

🚨 – Last chance
💷 – Entry fee
🆓 – Free of charge

🆓 Women of the Guildhall – Free Guided Tours – 8 March 2024

Pop over to Leicester Guildhall to learn about notable women linked closely to the history of this iconic building. Runs from 11:30am-3:30pm. Booking online is essential. 

🆓 International Women's Day: 100 Black Women Who Have Made A Mark – 8 March 2024

Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage is hosting a fantastic roundtable conversation about Black women who have made positive changes in the world. From 6pm-8pm. Booking online is essential; tickets are almost gone!

🆓 Attenborough Late: International Women's Day – 8 March 2024

Fancy an empowering evening? Join Attenborough Arts Centre for a live art experience involving music, arts and crafts, performances, food and drink. Runs 7pm-10pm. Booking online is essential.

💷 Her Excellence, Our Legacy – 9 March 2024

Highfields Centre is hosting an inspiring afternoon of artistic activities such as poetry workshops, drumming sessions, and much more! Runs from 12pm-5pm. Booking online is essential. General entry £3.41. Pay extra for specific workshops. 

🆓 Objects Reimagined – 9 March 2024

If you're a fan of art and sustainability, visit The Little Theatre for a fantastic exhibition. View the mixed media artwork of Christina Wigmore and speak to the artist directly. Runs from 12-2pm.

💷 🆓 Punk Mums – 10 March 2024

Head to Attenborough Arts Centre for a terrific evening celebrating women in music, particularly Leicester punk icon Ruth Miller. Free workshop available at 5pm. The gig runs from 7pm-10pm. Booking online is essential. Tickets are paid what you can from £3.

On the Market

by Rhys Everquill

 Studio flat on the first floor of Westside Apartments. Credit: Fothergill Wyatt

This studio flat on the first floor of Westside Apartments, off Braunstone Gate, is the perfect home for a recent graduate or young couple. Fun fact: my first apartment was on the first floor of this building! It used to be a co-operative shoe factory, but now there's 21 flats in total. It comprises open-plan living, kitchen, and bedroom areas with a modern three-piece bathroom.

Price: £625 pcm

Check out this Studio apartment for rent on Rightmove
Studio apartment for rent in Westside Apartments, Bede Street, Leicester, LE3 for £625 pcm. Marketed by Fothergill Wyatt, Leicester

Food and Drink

by David Landwehr

Drinks and prices. Credit: Ale Stone, Leicester

We have all mourned the death of proper independent pubs. Nowadays, every pub serves the same six beers. It was a refreshing surprise when I walked into the Ale Stone in, you guessed it, Aylestone, and I didn't recognise a single beer on offer. Kieran had everything from everywhere; if he didn't, he could tell you where to find it or get it in. This pub is full of genuine local people who like good conversation and beer. The most exciting part is that a wave of independent pubs is cropping up in Leicester. The Ale Stone has a sister pub, The Blue Boar, which I will review next.

Price: Belgian style Dark Cherry Ale (4.9%): £4.50

Sports highlights

by David Landwehr

  • Men's Football: As the EFL Championship ends, Leicester has proven mortal. QPR shocked the Foxes with a solid performance. Leicester City lost 1-2 against Queens Park Rangers. Leicester takes on Sunderland on Tuesday, 5 March at the Stadium of Light. Read more
  • Men's Basketball: The Leicester Riders took on the London Lions in the British Basketball Championship on Sunday, 3 March. Leicester played catch-up most of the game, with London putting up a strong showing. At the buzzer, the final score was London 105 – Leicester 89. Watch here
  • Cricket: Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket Foundation has been officially awarded charity status. What was once the Community Pillar of the Leicestershire CCC has now been transformed into the Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket Foundation. The foundation will use cricket and the club as a tool for good to help the community. Watch here


by Rhys Everquill

Photo of New Walk, 1951. Credit: Leicestershire Record Office

This photo of New Walk from 1951 is a rare glimpse at the promenade before it was made a conservation area in 1969.

Co-operatives UK

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