Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Frome Extinction Rebellion protestors tell their story

Story posted on

Michael Dunk being arrested at the Extinction Rebellion protests in London

With the recent Extinction Rebellion protests now over and Parliament agreeing to declare Climate & Environmental emergency, some of the Frome protesters have talked about their experiences in London and why they put themselves on the line to highlight the urgent climate and ecological issues we face. 

Annabelle Macfadyen joined the protests from day one starting on Waterloo Bridge as did many Frome activists, along with others from the West Country including Stroud, Totnes, Chippenham and Bath.

Annabelle said “I took part in non-violent direct action with Extinction Rebellion in London because of my deep concern about the climate and ecological crisis and fear of what the world will look like for future generations if we do not act now. The government has a responsibility to protect people and the planet and they are not responding adequately to this crisis. I was prepared to be arrested because I felt it was my responsibility to do whatever I could to bring attention to the emergency.”

Annabelle added, “Being in London with Extinction Rebellion was a very powerful experience. People from all walks of life and all ages came together to stand up for what they most care about – a safe and healthy planet for all. I spent a week at Waterloo Bridge and was inspired by the goodwill and cooperation that I experienced there. It gives me hope that in making the changes that are necessary to protect our planet, we are also creating a new society where we care for each other, work together for the common good and where everyone’s voice is heard.”

Another Frome Extinction Rebellion activist, Michael Dunk, also took part in the protests on Waterloo Bridge starting on April 15th. Michael said “I think I can speak for many others who were with me during the protest when I say that we were well out of our comfort zone in taking this action. The fact is that we do this because there is so little time left to act, the IPCC report has stated that we have about 12 years to reduce our emissions and limit global temperature rise to 1.5 deg.C, if it rises above that figure the consequences could be catastrophic and irreversible. If we carry on as we are now, we will in effect be gambling with the future of our children and grandchildren. Why would anyone gamble on something so precious, I’m personally not prepared to do that.”

Another Frome activist, John Clarke, also joined the protests from day one and said, “I believe there are times when it is reasonable and justified to take action which can be described as “illegal” and be part of civil disobedience in order to effect change. This is one of those times. To highlight the desperate situation we are in because of the climate emergency and ecological disaster we are facing. It is time for all of us to take whatever action we feel able to take in order to influence and make change happen.”

With regard to his own arrest John said, “My decision to join others and risk arrest was not taken lightly. It could be used against us by those who seek to discredit or deny the catastrophe we are facing and for some already experiencing. However, at this time it was for me the right action to take and be a small part of this movement for change.

“I want people to be open to examining the facts presented about the realities of climate change highlighted in the film presented by David Attenborough “Climate Change..The Facts” (this is still available on iPlayer). Above all take action, be part the movement for change, a movement to change the course that we are taking this planet in. We can fight and prevent climate and ecological catastrophe if enough of us show the love for all the things we stand to lose.”

Annabelle, Michael and John were just three of around 200 Frome activists who took part in the 9-day protests which blockaded parts of London and resulted in the British Parliament declaring a Climate & Environmental Emergency. That declaration in itself is a major victory for Extinction Rebellion although it needs to be seen as to what the government will put in place to address the situation and speed up action aimed at reducing carbon emissions. 

Whats next for Extinction Rebellion? The group says that really depends on the government, but it’s pretty clear that the organisation isn’t going away any time soon and will be watching to see how the government responds to the declared Climate & Environmental Emergency.

To have your say on what is happening next at Extinction Rebellion Frome, come to their ‘What’s next for Extinction Rebellion Frome?’ meeting  at the Frome Town Hall on the 9th May.

For more information or to join  Extinction Rebellion Frome, contact extinctionrebellionfrome@gmail.com, 

Extinction rebellion Frome Facebook page or sign up for their newsletter at xrfrome.org.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *