WATCH: See what happened when climate campaigners staged a sit-in protest at NDR event in Norwich
Campaigners protesting about inaction over climate change are staging a sit-in protest in The Forum.
Campaigners protesting about inaction over climate change staged a sit-in protest in The Forum – disrupting consultation over the “missing link” of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road.
Following in the footsteps of the Climate Extinction protests in London, campaigners took what they described as non-violent direct action at a Norfolk County Council consultation event over the Western Link on Tuesday, December 4.
The Forum is private property and campaigners, who began their protest at 12pm, said they were prepared to be arrested, although no arrests were ultimately made and the protest came to an end at 3.30pm.
Rupert Read, former Green City councillor and a University of East Anglia philosopher, said the protest was about climate change and the Western Link.
He said: “I’m here as part of Norwich Extinction Rebellion, a new, non-violent direct action movement, across Britain and across the world.
“We are protesting against the road that Norfolk County Council wants to build across the beautiful Wensum Valley. It would be climate disastrous. We can’t go on like this. The time for polite conversation and filling in forms on council websites is over.”
Norfolk County Council is consulting over the options for the road, which would connect the NDR to the A47 to the west of the city.
The road, known as the Broadland Northway, currently ends at the A1067 Fakenham Road.
But critics say some of the options, which include viaducts, would ruin the Wensum Valley and encourage more reliance on cars.
Martin Wilby, chairman of the county council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “I have no problem with people protesting. Some people might not like what we do, but people are entitled to their views, although we do care about the environment.
“We have been talking to Natural England and the Environment Agency and I have said all along that there must be a solution. We are aware of the environmental issues and they will be taken on board.”
He said the council does invest in public transport, but the road was needed.
The council consultation is here.