Hundreds of children’s shoes laid out in protest at council’s climate vote
PUBLISHED: 17:59 17 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:59 17 July 2020
Environmental activists laid out hundreds of children’s shoes in Downham Market and King’s Lynn to protest the council’s vote against a climate emergency.
Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists in West Norfolk displayed 150 pairs of children’s shoes at King’s Lynn town hall and 60 outside Downham Market town hall, on Friday, July 17.
It came as climate activists in the East of England joined forces in a symbolic protest to represent the future generations set to be most affected by climate change.
The socially-distanced protest came after King’s Lynn council voted against declaring a climate emergency for the third time at a meeting held last week.
The West Norfolk protestors are urging the borough council to declare a climate emergency with the slogan ‘Covid Today – Climate Tomorrow – Act Now”.
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An XR spokesman said: “Across the East of England, similar installations are appearing outside local seats of power - with rebels observing social distancing at all times. These empty shoes stand as a chilling reminder of the generations who will be most affected by the climate crisis: our children and young people.”
He added: “While the tragedy of Covid-19 is unfolding, time is running out to prevent the worst.
“Rising sea levels will devastate our coast and rising temperatures will decimate our crops. It is no longer enough to let all responsibility fall onto the actions of individuals. If we are to avert catastrophe, we need system-wide changes of the kind made for coronavirus pandemic.”
While activist Rosie Dodds said: “The longer we put off dealing with our destructive impact on the planet the higher the cost. Carbon dioxide released now stays in the atmosphere trapping heat for a century or more. Councils have to stop hoping for a technological fix and cut carbon. We need to build on this opportunity to reduce emissions and restore nature.”
Brian Long, West Norfolk council leader, said: “The council is still working hard on its climate change strategy, although there has been reduced capacity over the last few months while many officers were focussed on the response to the Covid-19 civil emergency.
“The timetable for the strategy means that the document is likely to go to cabinet in September and then to full council in October.
“We have still worked on climate change measures even during the pandemic.” READ MORE: Council to debate climate emergency
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