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Frome People Lead the Fight at Extinction Rebellion Protest in London

Protestors from Frome played a key part in the Extinction Rebellion event on Saturday 17th November, helping to shut down five of London’s bridges in the biggest act of civil disobedience in decades.

The group reports, “Thousands descended on the capital demanding the government take action to avert climate catastrophe and 85 activists were arrested – including one local mum – in what is being hailed as a great success by the organisation.

“A wide variety of Frome people – from grannies to teenagers – made costumes, banners, and videos to spread the message, and have been using the power of social media to connect with the global movement. On the Saturday, a coach full of Frome people made its way to the heart of the action, determined to make the government listen. Many local people and their creative banners made national press, and a photo of a group of Fromies fronting the protest on Westminster bridge made front page news on The Independent and The Guardian websites.”

Local mum, Kristen Lindop, who was arrested on the day, had this to say: “Going to London and getting arrested was about my being able to say to my children, and myself, I truly am doing all I can to help make sure there is a future for you, and the world.” 

She describes the reaction to her arrest from people who know her, saying, “Everyone has been so supportive and I’ve received so many positive comments from friends, relatives and colleagues. They know we urgently need to do all we can to save ourselves and the world from our current trajectory to destruction. They also know me well enough to know I never would have undertaken being arrested unless I felt it was the only way to force attention onto the climate emergency.” 

The group says, “Extinction Rebellion is a national and international movement demanding governments act now to avert the ecological disaster detailed in the recent report from the IPCC which states we have less than 12 years to avoid climate catastrophe. The group is running a series of civil disobedience actions over the coming months, hoping to get the message across that we are now in a climate emergency and the government must take action. They demand the government tell the truth about the ecological disaster we are facing, and enact legally binding policy to get net carbon emissions to zero by 2025.

“History has proven it’s only by non-violent direct action that governments have been forced to respond, as in the case of the civil rights movement in America and the Suffragettes here. In fact, the effects of Extinction Rebellion’s campaign were already being felt in the South West, as Bristol Council passed a motion recently declaring a climate emergency and bringing its CO2 emissions target forward by 20 years – inspiring news for rebels in the local area. 

“Earlier in the week, Frome locals also played their part with a group of residents protesting and obstructing roads in the town on Tuesday 13th November. A small group of Extinction Rebellion Frome took to the streets to raise awareness of climate breakdown and its consequences. We stopped the traffic for a short time in the marketplace and gave out leaflets in town, which were well received: in fact quite a few people joined in as we progressed!” 

“Several informative, educational and inspiring training events have already been held in Frome over the past few months, and an intrepid band of Fromies also made their way to Parliament Square to declare the Extinction Rebellion under way on the 31st of October.” 

Mendip District councillor, Shane Collins said,  “We can be under no illusions, if we carry on as we are we will knowingly join many other species in the 6th great extinction. We have 11 years to make massive green changes to get to zero emissions by 2030. I am prepared to risk arrest and jail to help persuade the government to declare a climate emergency.  The science has warned us, ignorance is no excuse. We have everything to lose and much to gain.”

And local mum and writer, Rosie Newman, explained her own involvement further in a piece in Ecohustler, saying, “We have reached a point where the wisdom and technology now exist to provide all the energy and waste solutions needed to ensure average standards of living can continue to improve across the globe. We can restore wildlife habitats and clean up cities.

“All the great advances in freedom of the last 200 years – from the abolition of slavery to votes for women, from the emancipation of India to the civil rights movement – have without exception been catalysed by a minority willing to risk arrest and even jail by highlighting injustice.

“We have the right to a say in the kind of future our children will live to see, and that they will live to see it. It’s not something that someone else should do, this is about all of us. It’s within reach and we are rising up to claim it.”

If you’d like more information about ongoing Extinction Rebellion events, please visit the main website https://rebellion.earth/

Or connect with the Frome movement on Facebook – https://m.facebook. com/Extinction-RebellionFrome-352703285293260/

Photo – Penelope Barritt.

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