Friday 28th August : Banner drop and fossil fuel protests announce the start of rebellion
Local groups, affinity groups and communities have begun this Rebellion with a visual show of solidarity to demand ACTION. The slogans vary from location to location but the message is united, ACT NOW. In Bath and Weston Super Mare on behalf of Doctors of Extinction Rebellion, rebels flyposted warning labels on petrol pumps raising awareness of the damage wrought by fuel extraction and emissions.
Banners, placards and billboard messages were displayed in over 60 roadside locations across the south west today as Extinction Rebellion groups participated in a series of creative, non-violent direct actions to draw attention to the existential threat that we face – the climate and ecological emergency. Bank holiday motorists were greeted with banner messages demanding urgent climate action from the government, an end to fossil fuels and asking MPs to back the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill.
The highly visible locations selected include bridges over many of the main holiday routes into the south west as well as town centres and seaside piers. The routes covered will include the M5 and M50 in Gloucestershire, the M3 in Hampshire, the A303 through Wiltshire and Somerset and the A30 and A38 through Devon and Cornwall.
Messaging highlights include:
On the A303 near Stonehenge a big pink banner reading “2100: Stonehenge Still There… Are We?’ and further on another reading “Are We There Yet?’”
On the A338 heading into Bournemouth the existing “Welcome to Bournemouth” and “Safe Journey” messages will be replaced with “Welcome to Extinction” and “No Safe Journey to Climate Chaos”
Melanie Clarke, 60, a home care worker and grandmother of 2 from Bath said
“I got involved with the banner drop because I was worried that the Covid crisis was distracting everyone from the much bigger climate and ecological crisis. We still have a long way to go to transition to a zero carbon economy. It’s past the time of what we can do as individuals, the governments of the world need to act quickly to avoid the extinction of life on Earth as we know it.”
Pension divestment protests
Extinction Rebellion groups across 5 counties in the south west took part in a series of co-ordinated actions targetting their local authority pension funds for fossil fuel divestment. Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire are all counties whose local authority pension funds are managed by the Brunel Pension Partnership (BPP) under guidance from County committees. Extinction rebellion, along with other local organisations delivered letters to local authority Pension Fund Committees demanding that the BPP Fund cease investing in the production and distribution of fossil fuels.
Today’s actions will be followed by three days of creative local community actions, including marches and picnics announcing the start of a nationwide rebellion which will then continue on 1st September in Cardiff, London and Manchester.
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