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Head shaving protest over ‘shameful refusal’ of climate emergency

PUBLISHED: 16:10 06 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:19 08 February 2020

Scenes from the climate protest in King's Lynn  Picture: Chris Bishop

Scenes from the climate protest in King's Lynn Picture: Chris Bishop

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Protestors are set to don scarlet robes and shave their heads on King’s Lynn’s streets in a silent demonstration against a council’s “shameful refusal” to debate declaring a climate emergency.

West Norfolk Borough Council leader Brian Long. Picture: Ian BurtWest Norfolk Borough Council leader Brian Long. Picture: Ian Burt

Extinction Rebellion (XR) King's Lynn and West Norfolk will carry out a peaceful protest on Saturday, February 8, after King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council (KLWNBC) refused to debate declaring a climate emergency.

The demonstration will see them joined by the Red Rebels climate protestors from Norwich, who wear bright red robes and don white face masks to highlight the urgency of taking action.

And during the course of the protest, activists will have their heads shaved in silence in front of King's Lynn town hall.

It comes just days after the council again refused to declare a climate change emergency after the cabinet refused to commit to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, but said it was already preparing a climate change action plan.

READ MORE: Red Rebel Extinction Rebellion demonstration as Norfolk County Council sets carbon neutral target

A spokeswoman for the King's Lynn XR group said: "Following the shameful refusal of the council to even debate declaring a climate emergency, local people will be taking to the streets of King's Lynn in a silent, powerful and peaceful protest on Saturday.

"Around the world, forests are burning, ice is melting and animals are disappearing, forever.

"Great storms are devastating cities and the seas are rising.

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"West Norfolk is on the front line of climate change as one of the top 10 most vulnerable boroughs to coastal flooding in the UK. But still our council won't act.

"64pc of local authorities in the UK have declared a climate emergency, but not ours."

Bernadette Barclay, from XR King's Lynn, said the group aimed to highlight the council's inaction.

"Not enough people care about it - that's why we're trying to make this as public as possible," she said. "People who are aware of it are hacked off."

READ MORE: Council leader blasted for ending climate change debate

And Ms Barclay, 62, added: "I've been doing this for ten years. I'm not giving up.

"Some national governments are taking it on but if they do they have to challenge the whole economic set up. We have to stop burning fossil fuels at this rate."

She said the council were taking the issue "not at all seriously".

A council spokeswoman said there was no unwillingness or refusal to debate the matter and that the council wanted to have an informed debate on the issue.

Council leader Brian Long was contacted for comment but did not respond ahead of publication.

READ MORE: Cabinet refuses to declare climate change emergency


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