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Extinction Rebellion set to gather at Downham Market Town Hall this weekend

A Declaration of Rebellion against the government will take place tomorrow (Saturday, September 7) at Downham Town Hall.

Members of Extinction Rebellion will be protesting against inactivity in the face of the climate crisis and a perceived failure to ensure the safety of citizens.

A statement will be read out which states: "Humanity finds itself embroiled in an event unprecedented in its history. One which, unless immediately addressed, will catapult us further into the destruction of all we hold dear: this nation, its peoples, our ecosystems and the future of generations to come.

Extinction Rebellion Group take part in a 'Die-in' to publicise their cause. Picture: Vikki Lince
Extinction Rebellion Group take part in a 'Die-in' to publicise their cause. Picture: Vikki Lince

"The science is clear: we are in the sixth mass extinction event and we will face catastrophe if we do not act swiftly and robustly."

It follows Extinction Rebellion activists staging a protest outside the Lynn Barclays branch in the High Street last Saturday.

The activists said the Barclays branch, which remained open throughout the protest, was targeted because of the company’s record of investment in fossil fuel extraction.

Extinction Rebellion
Extinction Rebellion

Brenda Kent, a Downham resident, said: "I did not expect to become a rebel in my retirement but I have come to the shocking realisation that decades of warnings from climate scientists and years of conventional campaigning by environmental groups and ordinary people have not yet inspired the government to do enough to avoid catastrophe."

And another resident planning to rebel, Alastair Kent, said: "Unless I rebel now it will be too late. Large areas of land around Downham will be under water in the foreseeable future, yet the government sits on its hands, doing too little, too late to make a real difference.

"We all must act now and do what we can if we want to be able to look our children and grandchildren in the eyes, secure their future and that of every child and make Downham safe for our unborn generations."

Extinction Rebellion protest outside Barclays
Extinction Rebellion protest outside Barclays

At last night's full borough council meeting, Ian Devereux, Cabinet Member for Environment, said the council are working with other Norfolk councils to reduce the carbon footprint.

He said reliance on roads such as the A47 and A12, as well as a lack of forest areas, means carbon levels need to be tightly controlled within the borough.

Mr Devereux also said interactions with the Extinction Rebellion group has played its part in mitigating climate change and publicising the issue.

He added: "There are two Air Quality management areas in the past with high levels of pollution which are regularly monitored. One is the area around the Gaywood clock and other is around the Southgates.

"Lots of measuring devices can be seen around the town. Categorically no exceedances have been recorded in 2019."

The Declaration of Rebellion at Downham tomorrow will highlight biodiversity being "annihilated around our world" and "flooding and desertification [which] will render vast tracts of land uninhabitable and lead to mass migration".

Extinction Rebellion protest outside Barclays in King's Lynn
Extinction Rebellion protest outside Barclays in King's Lynn

Liz Pendleton, a Downham protester, said: "People are waking up to the fact that climate change requires immediate action, but the average person in the street can feel powerless, beyond small personal changes.

"It is obvious that the system and our governance needs radical change. Starting locally, we can do much more to pave the way for sustainable living and working, we have a duty to encourage new ways of protecting and even re-wilding our environment, starting with a new, sustainable approach to the way we operate in our immediate surroundings, our beloved town."

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