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Extinction Rebellion group urges council to 'act now' in King's Lynn demonstration

The King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Extinction Rebellion (XR) group took to the streets of Lynn armed with ‘gravestones’ on Saturday.

Their message – “don’t drown our future King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council – act now” – was a direct response to the authority refusing to declare a climate emergency immediately.

The group had been expected to be dressed as zombies for the event, which started at 12.30pm outside Marks and Spencer, but they reportedly decided against this following a backlash on social media.

The King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Extinction Rebellion. (21311384)
The King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Extinction Rebellion. (21311384)

A statement from XR ahead of the event said: “Our borough is in the top-10 Local Authorities with the most properties at high risk of flooding from rivers and sea at the moment.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated last month in a special report on the oceans that global average sea levels could rise by up to 1.1m by 2100.

“Our borough is on the front line, our properties are at risk, but our council doesn’t appear to care.”

The King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Extinction Rebellion. (21311391)
The King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Extinction Rebellion. (21311391)

Local resident and retired teacher, Bernadette Barclay, is worried.

She said: “We have to face the facts with compassion and courage. We have to act now to prevent runaway climate change that will impact on all of us, especially our children and grandchildren.

“There is real hope in action and I know that many people will want to ask their councillors why they are dragging their feet on this vital issue.”

The action came on the same weekend in which the Met Office put several “danger to life” flood warnings in place in a number of locations across the UK.

Dozens of residents had been warned to evacuate their homes, after a month’s worth of rain fell in 24 hours in some areas.

At the October full council meeting, an attempt to debate adopting a motion supporting the declaration of a climate emergency was deferred when members voted to refer it to cabinet first. But that will not be discussed until January now, it was revealed recently, missing the next cabinet meeting.

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