Extinction Rebellion protestors from Lincolnshire to join hundreds more in two-week blockade of Westminster

A banner in Sleaford Market Place announcing the upcoming Extinction Rebellion event. EMN-190410-181356001
A banner in Sleaford Market Place announcing the upcoming Extinction Rebellion event. EMN-190410-181356001

Around 40 Lincolnshire environmental protestors will be among the hundreds planning to converge on London next week and block roads for a fortnight.

At 8am on Monday morning Extinction Rebellion says its supporters will arrive in Westminster blockading every single road in the area for at least two weeks calling on Government departments to “Tell the Truth” about what they are doing to tackle the climate emergency.

Among the ranks of protestors will be about 40 people from the Lincolnshire branch of Extinction Rebellion. The Lincolnshire protestors will be part of the Midlands and East of England group blocking Horseguards Road outside The Treasury.

Tim Grigg, a 60 year old semi-retired Royal Air Force officer from Heckington will be joining them on Tuesday after attending a small scale event in Sleaford on Monday.

The grandfather who served 28 years with the RAF says he only got involved in Extinction Rebellion quite recently after becoming increasingly concerned about climate change.

He said: “I was not sure what to expect when I first went to Extinction Rebellion’s training sessions, but it is a great bunch and it gave a feeling of empowerment to make a difference.

“We cannot go on the way we are. The government’s obsession with economic growth and our materialistic lifestyles cannot continue. We all need to change and change fast. I wonder what the world will be like when my grandson is my age and some of the scenarios scare me to death? I would never forgive myself if everything starts to fall apart in a few years time and I thought that maybe, if I had done something about it in 2019, things could have been so different. That’s why I’m going to London to support the Rebellion.”

He said he would be going along to the Sleaford event at Handley Monument in Southgate on Monday designed to highlight the main demonstration in London.

“I will go down to London on Tuesday but not stay all the time, then go back for the second week. It is a bit scary, depending on what the police tactics will be.”

He also plans to work with fellow climate change group Global Sleaford which supported the schools strike and they will be rallying support on October 24. A Sleaford XR group may also be set up.

The Westminster demonstration is part of a wider, international action, across more than 60 countries demanding governments take immediate and decisive action on the climate and ecological emergency. Protestors will shut down capital cities, blocking roads, bridges, transport links and more.

A number of local councils, including North Kesteven District council, has declared a ‘climate emergency’ recently, calling for speedier action to combat this decline.

In the UK, Extinction Rebellion say the “business as usual” approach is destroying our planet’s capacity to sustain life. They say the food supply is in peril due to more extreme weather events, devastating lives and livelihoods.

Dr Judith M Hanslip, 60, a year old retired consultant psychiatrist and grandmother from Market Rasen, says: “I am taking part in the rebellion because we are already seeing the devastating impact of an accelerating climate emergency. The rise in global heating is unprecedented, the Earth at its hottest over the past five years and on course for heating so severe vast swathes will become uninhabitable. Our government must make saving the lives of its citizens from the climate emergency its number one priority. This is a public health issue. This is about the survival of our children and the alternative is that as a species we face extinction.

“Together we can hold government and the elite to account and set course for a safer and better future. Our very survival depends upon rejecting business as usual. Extinction Rebellion uses non violent civil disobedience to cause some disruption now as there really is no alternative anymore.”

In April in London, more than 1,000 people were arrested, including two from Lincolnshire, as Extinction Rebellion UK nonviolently disrupted business with blockades at four sites across London. This time, as the emergency escalates, Extinction Rebellion UK plans to head straight to UK Government ministries and departments around Westminster to demand each shares their plans for the Climate and Ecological Emergency. It is expected that thousands more ordinary citizens will join and peacefully block more than 11 key areas until Extinction Rebellion’s demands are met.

Extinction Rebellion Lincolnshire have previously sprayed slogans on the windows of Barclays Bank in Lincoln High Street; dropped banners over bridges in various sites across Lincoln; had a ‘die in’ and march in Lincoln city centre; deliberately got arrested during large protests in London; protested inside Lincoln County Council and held a ‘funeral for the future’.

The group established at the end of 2018, and already has 1,130 members in their Facebook group.