Six activists from Norwich among those arrested in Extinction Rebellion protests
PUBLISHED: 14:10 19 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:10 19 April 2019
Six activists from Norwich were among those arrested on Thursday night as climate change protests continue in London.
The three men and three women who were released from custody on Friday morning were arrested while participating in Extinction Rebellion (XR) demonstrations which have been taking place in the capital since Monday.
As of Thursday evening more than 500 protesters had been arrested by police as activists created human road blocks in Parliament Square, Marble Arch, Oxford Circus and Waterloo Bridge.
Activists from Norwich were also arrested on Wednesday night.
Debbie Wright, an engineer from Norwich, who was among four Norwich activists to spend Wednesday night in custody said she had joined the protests because she wanted younger generations to have a better future.
The 44-year-old said: “It's about the kids, I've got little nieces, I want them to have a better future than it looks like they might have, what's the world going to be like in the future?
“If your child was in a slow car crash you would do everything you could to stop it,” she said.
Ms Wright who arrived in London on Monday, after cycling to the capital with the Rebel Riders said although the experience of being arrested had been “quite scary” the police had been “great”.
She said: “The police were great, really human, when they lifted me up they were very gentle, the police are doing a great job.”
She added that the atmosphere during the protests had been “fantastic”: “[When we cycled down on Monday] the atmosphere was fantastic, as we got closer to [central London] we started to see other XR groups and when we got to Parliament Square there were so many people, it was a really lovely atmosphere.
“We are getting a lot of public support, people are saying well done for doing this,” she said.
Rebecca Stott, a professor of creative writing at the University of East Anglia and a member of the Norwich XR group and who was in London on Monday said the group had had about 20-25 representatives at the London protests since the demonstrations began.
She said the group were expecting more to join over the bank holiday weekend.
Adding that XR had been planning the protests for a long time and would “keep up the pressure” until the government took action or started a conversation with protestors she said: “This has been planned for a long time and we are in it for the long run”.
She also said she expected more and more people would join the movement: “We are going to see more and more of it, these are people who will have seen what XR is doing.
“We want people in the know, people with power and knowledge to keep going.”
Extinction Rebellion is calling on the UK government to fulfil three demands - to better inform the public about climate change, to make the country carbon neutral by 2025 and to create a citizens assembly model on environmental issues.
The group which is demanding a meeting with the government, says direct action is needed to force authorities to act urgently on climate change and wildlife declines and halt a “sixth mass extinction”.