Climate change activists carry coffin through Norwich in 'funeral' for Mother Earth
PUBLISHED: 15:21 13 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:45 13 July 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
Campaigners have held a funeral for Mother Earth in Norwich city centre to highlight the 'existential threat' posed by climate change.
On Saturday, members of Extinction Rebellion Norwich, gathered on the steps of City Hall to hold a funeral mourning the loss of humanity's future and Mother Earth, "who died on the eve of sixth mass extinction".
Dressed in black and carrying a coffin, around 40 protestors gathered to sing Amazing Grace, before processing to Gentleman's Walk to stage a 'die-in'.
Before setting off on the funeral march, the campaigners heard the aim of the service was to "mourn for what we have so sadly lost" but also a chance to act in the hope of making a change.
Singing as they marched, members of the funeral procession made their way through the city centre to Gentleman's Walk, where in front of Norwich Market the 40-strong group of various ages staged a 'die-in' while bemused shoppers looked on.
Robert Crews, 28, a maths tutor from Norwich who was one of those marching with the procession, said: "I think it's really, important to draw attention to situation we are in."
But the protest did not go down well with everyone, Ray Swinton, a market stall holder, said: "It's attention seeking. People are trying to make a living and they're blocking the front of our businesses.
"I can't believe it, I'm so angry, it's one of my busiest days, they should go down to Earlham Park not the middle of the city.
"I haven't got time for it."
But Gemma Collingsworth, 36, and Stuart Dorling, 39, both from Norwich said they believed the protest was doing what it was designed to do, catch people's attention, she said: "It's a way of getting the point across, it's made me stop and look. At least they are doing something about [the issue] and actually it's quite a peaceful thing that they are doing."
"Visually, it works because the desired effect is to get people to talk, what they are doing is very symbolic," they said.
Amy Wilson, spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion Norwich, said: "It's gone really well, the amount of attention we have received from the public is fantastic, it's part of why we do this, we just want to spread the word."