Search

Environment protestors who defaced council sites to face police probe

PUBLISHED: 17:57 24 September 2020

An environmental activist group which defaced council buildings to protest inaction on climate change faces police investigation. Photo: Extinction Rebellion

An environmental activist group which defaced council buildings to protest inaction on climate change faces police investigation. Photo: Extinction Rebellion

Archant

An environmental activist group which defaced council buildings to protest inaction on climate change faces police investigation.

An environmental activist group which defaced council buildings to protest inaction on climate change faces police investigation. Photo: Extinction RebellionAn environmental activist group which defaced council buildings to protest inaction on climate change faces police investigation. Photo: Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion protestors in West Norfolk targeted the council-owned sites in King’s Lynn to object to the council leader’s plans to scrap the environment portfolio holder role in the council cabinet.

The group used chalk spray paint - which is removable and not damaging to the environment - to daub the words ‘you’re failing us’ at the council building, ‘act now’ at the town hall and ‘climate emergency’ at St James car park.

But council leader Brian Long denounced XR’s actions, which he said were “highly irresponsible”.

READ MORE: ‘It was pandemonium’ - Norfolk newsagents hit hard after Extinction Rebellion protest

An environmental activist group which defaced council buildings to protest inaction on climate change faces police investigation. Photo: Extinction RebellionAn environmental activist group which defaced council buildings to protest inaction on climate change faces police investigation. Photo: Extinction Rebellion

It came after Mr Long revealed during a council meeting that he planned to do away with the role with specific responsibility for the environment and incorporate it temporarily into his own role.

An XR spokesman said: “He is no longer simply ignoring the problem, he is actively working against any progress.

“As long as the leader shirks all responsibility for the environment the council cannot be seen as legitimately representing the interests of the borough.”

He added: “Young people will live with the consequences of the decisions made today but are often ignored by our political system.

“The tiny steps the council have taken are completely out of step with what is necessary, and now we see plans to go backwards.

“Mr Long must reinstate the environment portfolio and appoint someone who will take it seriously to bring about meaningful change to prevent the worst of the crisis.”

READ MORE: Protests as Extinction Rebellion embarks on ‘critical mass’ bicycle ride around Norwich

Council leader Mr Long said: “This is a highly irresponsible act at a time when council resources are already stretched. We have had to redirect staff to clean off the graffiti, who would otherwise be focusing on cleaning council venues to ensure they are safe for staff and public in a time when Covid-19 cases are on the increase.

“This criminal damage has been reported to the police who will no doubt review CCTV coverage as part of their investigation.”

He added: “Far from scrapping the portfolio, I have brought environmental matters into my own portfolio, demonstrating the importance that I give it, and providing additional gravitas.

“We all agree that tackling climate change is a priority and this council is acting.”

A Norfolk police spokeswoman said the council received reports of criminal damage and officers were investigating the matter.

READ MORE: Hundreds of children’s shoes laid out in protest at council’s climate vote


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press