Protesters to stage 'die in' outside of Ely Cathedral to demand district council take action over climate change 'emergency'

PUBLISHED: 16:10 10 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:05 12 September 2019

Protesters will lie on the ground outside of Ely Cathedral in a “die in” to demand council bosses take action over a climate change “emergency”. Picture: Extinction Rebellion

Protesters will lie on the ground outside of Ely Cathedral in a "die in" to demand council bosses take action over a climate change "emergency". Picture: Extinction Rebellion

Archant

Protesters will lie on the ground outside of Ely Cathedral in a "die in" to demand council bosses take action over a climate change "emergency".

Protesters will lie on the ground outside of Ely Cathedral in a "die in" to demand council bosses take action over a climate change "emergency".

The local Extinction Rebellion group headed by campaigners dressed in striking red costumes will lead a procession through the city on Saturday (September 14).

The "red rebels" will move from Fore Hill through the market place to the cathedral green where speeches will take place.

Kim Ashton, from the Ely Extinction Rebellion group, said: "If we continue how we are then a lot of the Fens will be under water in about 50 years.

"Ely will be an island again while lower-lying towns and communities will be destroyed.

"We will congregate outside of the cathedral where everyone will lie on the ground outside and take part in a 'die-in'.

"It will be an amazing moment and very visual spectacle.

"It's a warning that this is what will happen if something does not change."

People will also be encouraged to sign a petition to get East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) to take action.

However, Cllr Anna Bailey, leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council [ECDC] said that they take "immense pride" in their environmental work.

She said: "We live in a beautiful, green district and we take immense pride in the work the council has undertaken to protect it.

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"As a council we do all we can to minimise our impact on the environment and we are proactive when it comes to matters which we can affect.

"We have the highest recycling rate in Cambridgeshire and what's more, we encourage residents to increase their recycling habits through the education of young people and the creation of our recycling hero, Michael.

"We are committed to our purge on plastics and the Grange has become a hub for recycling some of the most difficult items such as crisp packets and ink cartridges.

"We also support residents to make changes at home, including how to make their households more energy efficient and what they can do to support the protection of hedgehogs and swifts.

"But, there is only so much we as a district council can do, climate change affects us all and everyone needs to play their part in tackling this global issue."

The procession will move slowly through the city, so that shoppers can stop and approach campaigners to find out more.

"The Red Rebels are a like a theatrical group who will be dressed in red and appear very striking," Mr Ashton continued.

"We need the district council to take more action and declare it a climate emergency.

"The government and local government are not doing enough and not taking it seriously.

"We have heard about how the council focus on reducing the use of plastics, which is great, but that will not stop in the Fens from going under water. This is a much bigger issue."

Extinction Rebellion was launched in October 2018 and in April this year, they shut down central London in protest at the lack of action on the climate and ecological crisis, leading to 1100 arrests.

But Mr Ashton assured that they were not planning anything as "dramatic" for Ely, assuring that raising awareness on climate change was their main priority.

Campaigners say that carbon emissions hit an all-time high in 2018 and there is no sign of the energy transformation, which scientists say needs to happen to avoid "deadly heatwaves, crop failures and the extinction of wildlife".

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