XR Taunton protest against Council pension investments
28th Aug 2020 - 12:00AM
Extinction Rebellion Taunton will be holding a protest outside the offices of Somerset West and Taunton Council in Belvedere Road at 12 noon and County Hall Taunton at 1 pm on Friday 28th August 2020. This is part of Extinction Rebellion’s national campaign ‘We want to live...’ The protest is against Somerset County Council Pensions Committee’s continued investment in fossil fuels, despite the fact that the County Council and four District Councils declared a climate emergency in February 2019. Similar protests will be taking place across the County (outside the District Council Offices in Bridgwater, Shepton Mallet and Yeovil) that day, and at other locations in the South West. 67 000 staff from all five councils, and from many other public authorities in Somerset, already receive or will receive Council pensions, but the increasing climate risk to Somerset and beyond makes continued investment in fossil fuels dangerous, not only for the well-being of future generations, but also because they are becoming financially more unreliable. Members of the public are encouraged to come and share their concerns with us - at a safe distance - and Councillors at all levels are invited to come and talk with us. This protest is being deliberately kept small, but is also taking place in other locations in Somerset and across the South West, to coincide with Extinction Rebellion’s national season of protest. This starts on 28th August, when the theme will be fossil fuels. We will also be joined by members of other local environmental groups. One of the organizers said: “I am a Council pensioner, and I worry not only about the future effects of climate change on my grandchildren, and the contribution that my pension is making to this, but also about what is already happening to Somerset, with more extreme weather events like floods, and a gradual sea level rise. Our attempts at engaging with the Pensions Committee over the past four years have brought little change, and time is running out.” Extinction Rebellion (XR) has brought to the attention of people around the world the rapidly unfolding climate and ecological disaster. Our presence in East Street Taunton on 8th August (“Imagine if…”) showed that the current crisis provides a good opportunity for considering better ways of addressing this disaster.