Extinction Rebellion peaceful protest to bring climate change message to Abergavenny streets


Abergavenny Extinction Rebellion group will conduct its first Rebellion Day beginning at 12.45pm on Saturday 22nd December.  Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a new and growing movement demanding of local and national government that climate change is recognised as an existential emergency, and acted upon immediately [1]. Rebellion Days are peaceful, nonviolent protests conducted by local XR groups to pressurise councils to pass Climate Emergency motions and take action to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. [2]

“I am a local Monmouthshire resident with 2 young children’ said XR member Rob Proctor. ‘I am genuinely concerned with the future for them and want to make sure that I do everything in my power to try and hand over the same opportunities and environment I have been able to enjoy and benefit from.”

Abergavenny Rebellion Day will begin at 12.45 with a funeral procession to mourn the species already lost in the ongoing sixth mass extinction event caused by human activity.  A more relaxed and interactive procession will follow, highlighting the group’s demands: that Monmouthshire County Council pass a motion declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’, enact measures to achieve carbon neutrality in Monmouthshire by 2030, and work with other UK councils and organisations to identify and implement methods necessary to maintain global temperatures at below1.5 degrees.  Hundreds are expected to join the event as it processes through the town centre on the last shopping Saturday before Christmas. Songs, readings and drumming will feature. Shoppers will be encouraged to discuss how they think and feel about this unprecedented global emergency, and join the Rebellion.

Monmouthshire resident Diana Wallace explained why she believes this is the necessary approach.  “I have been increasingly concerned about Climate Change for many years’ said Diana, ‘and have lobbied politicians about more support for renewables, and about ending fracking, road building and airport expansion; but this has fallen on deaf ears in a business and profit-as-usual political culture. I have joined Extinction Rebellion because at last here is a movement which seriously challenges the political indifference to the existential crisis we face.”
Fellow county resident Alice Sidwell agrees. “We can’t help but see beauty in nature, but somehow we have still created systems and societies which depend on its exploitation and destruction” said Alice. “I believe that the changes we can make to slow climate change and reduce environmental destruction can also lead us to more fulfilling lives and equal societies. Through coming together to tackle the serious issues of our time we grow as a community. Extinction Rebellion provides a space for this.”
The event follows the COP24 talks in Poland at which David Attenborough warned: “If we don’t take action the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon”.

Local Extinction Rebellion groups throughout the UK are now building on the movement’s launch in October and its month of action in London in November, in which activists super-glued themselves to the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, spray-painted the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and disrupted a City Hall ‘disaster planning meeting’. Thousands converged on the Thames and blocked five major bridges in central London in the UK’s biggest peaceful act of civil disobedience in decades. For two weeks, swarming events blocked streets, gridlocked traffic and caused escalating economic disruption.  Regional Rebellion Day, on 15th December, saw local groups across the UK, including Cardiff and Carmarthen,  pressing their local councils to pass climate emergency motions.

To date, the London Assembly and the local councils of Bristol, Stroud, Frome and Totnes have passed Climate Emergency motions.

“We urge other institutions to follow suit as the first step in acknowledging we are in an emergency,” said Dr. Larch Maxey of Extinction Rebellion. “Extinction Rebellion groups are rising up to face this emergency. Throughout the UK and the world, we are seeing people coming together to take direct action, to demand that there is an emergency response to what we face. Rebellion for our future and our children’s futures is an idea whose time has come.”

1. About Extinction Rebellion:

Extinction Rebellion is a movement coordinated by the RisingUp Network, grounded in the belief that it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience when faced with life-threatening inactivity by its Government. It demands that:

The Government must tell the truth about the ecological emergency, reverse all policies inconsistent with addressing climate change and work alongside the media to communicate what needs to be done to its citizens
The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025, and to reduce consumption levels
A national Citizen’s Assembly must be established to oversee the changes, as an immediate step towards forming a democracy fit for purpose

RisingUp promotes the fundamental conversion of our political and economic system into one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. It works to nurture change in a culture of reverence, gratitude and inclusion, while using the tools of civil disobedience and direct action to express collective power.

Website http://www.risingup.org.uk/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RisingUpUK/#
Twitter https://twitter.com/RisingUpUK

2. References:
Climate Change Factsheet

Environmental reporting


About Author

Abergavenny Now founder and History graduate from Bath Spa University. I was born in Abergavenny and have lived in the town for most of my life.

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