‘This is just the start’: Protesters march through Ely High Street and ‘die in’ outside cathedral as they warn of ‘climate emergency’
- Credit: Supplied / XR Ely
Protesters from Extinction Rebellion Ely marched through the city and staged a ‘die in’ on Saturday.
Half-a-dozen members, dressed in red, led a procession from Fore Hill to the cathedral.
The Ely branch of the global climate movement joins the dozens of Extinction Rebellion (XR) groups around the UK demanding government action on 'the climate crisis'.
A spokesman for XR Ely said: "We had a great turnout on Saturday. This is just the start of XR Ely; this is quite a unique visual event with the red rebels by the cathedral."
Kim Ashton, one of the members, said the protest was a wake up call.
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"It's a warning that this is what will happen if something does not change," he said.
The 'die in' showed people pretending to be dead.
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The "red rebels" can be seen surrounding the people, standing still with their arms out in their striking red costumes.
Onlookers were encouraged to sign a petition to get East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) to take action on climate change.
Council leader Anna Bailey said that they take "immense pride" in their environmental work.
She said: "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 moved slowly through the city, so that shoppers could stop and approach campaigners to find out more.
Mr Ashton, however, believes local councils need to take more action and declare it a climate emergency.
He said: "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."