Protests as Extinction Rebellion embarks on ‘critical mass’ bicycle ride around Norwich
PUBLISHED: 12:28 28 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:40 28 August 2020
Environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion is staging a ‘critical mass’ bicycle ride to demonstrate about climate change.
The ride around Norwich and the surrounding area today (Friday, August 28) marks the start of a nationwide “regional rebellion” over four days by Extinction Rebellion (XR) groups, which will see protests staged across the country.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on travel, protesters are encouraged to take action locally with the aviation sector, banks, the fossil fuel industry and petrol stations as targets for demonstrations.
The XR Norwich group intends to cover about 20 miles in its Tour de Norwich, which started from Whitlingham Broad car park at 9.30am.
Norfolk County Council’s County Hall headquarters was their first stop in a day of what they describe as “peaceful mini-actions” along the route, where they delivered a letter urging the council to scrap the Western Link - the road mooted to join the Northern Distributor Road to the A47.
They also visited City Hall urging the city council not to support that road scheme.
James Harvey, from XR Norwich, said: “Today is about raising awareness, going to some specific companies and institutions around Norwich asking some to change what they are doing, such as stopping the Western Link.
“We’re going to various other places which do have an impact on the climate and saying ‘look there’s a better way, there’s a more profitable way for you’ and, from a long-term sustainability point of view, ‘change your ways now and that will be better for everyone’.”
The protests are being held ahead of larger-scale demonstrations planned for London, Manchester and Cardiff on September 1.
Protests this weekend are expected to include roadblocks, marches, sit-ins, bike rides and picnics, with campaigners emphasising their ethos of “non-violent direct action”.
XR supporters will also be encouraged to protest digitally, and urged to phone their MPs and “institutions of power”.
The Norwich XR group staged its first critical mass bicycle ride in March last year and has organised a number of the demonstrations since.
In February last year, members of the group staged a four hour protest during Norfolk County Council’s budget meeting, where they occupied the council chamber.
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