Extinction Rebellion banners appeared across Shropshire this morning as part of a UK-wide action highlighting the ongoing climate emergency and announcing the 2020 Rebellion.
Banners were hung along roads and from bridges, including the iconic Iron Bridge and along the A49 and A5 by activists from Shropshire groups including XR Bishop’s Castle & Clun, XR Ludlow & Leominster, XR Marches, XR Shrewsbury, XR Telford and XR Oswestry & Borders.
The action was designed to announce the start of two weeks of protest by Extinction Rebellion across the UK from 1st September. Banner slogans focussed on the ongoing climate and ecological emergency and, in particular, on the continued reliance on fossil fuels.
“Shropshire Extinction Rebellion groups are proud to be part of today’s national action,” said XR Shrewsbury spokesperson Jamie Russell. “The world has changed in unimaginable ways since our last rebellion in October, but the climate emergency has not gone away. We are still hurtling towards climate breakdown.”
“2020 is the year the world started to unravel around us,” said Alison Layland of XR Oswestry & Borders. “Here in Shropshire, we’ve been hammered by flooding, heatwaves and drought, all set against the backdrop of a global pandemic caused by our mistreatment of nature. The global picture is even worse. Australia has been ravaged by record wildfires killing over a billion animals; the Arctic Circle hit a record 38C (100.4F) in June; Greenland is melting faster than ever before and China and Bangladesh have suffered devastating floods. We can’t go on like this.”
In Ironbridge, activists from XR Telford hung a banner across the iconic bridge calling for a Renewable Revolution: “Shropshire was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution,” said XR Telford spokesperson Dave Ashdown, “and today Extinction Rebellion is calling on the UK government to lead the world again. We want the government to tackle the climate crisis head on. We need to urgently slash emissions and switch away from fossil fuels, but the UK is nowhere near on track to meet our 2025 and 2030 carbon targets. We need real leadership on this issue, but our government is ignoring the science and failing to act.”
XR Shrewsbury placed banners along the A5 from Wellington, with XR Oswestry & Borders continuing northwards towards Chirk, where they began the day at the famous aqueduct. The banners highlighted the need for us to rethink our relationship with fossil fuels.
Elsewhere, Extinction Rebellion groups in the Marches hung banners along the entirety of the A49 trunk road from Ross on Wye, through Hereford, Leominster and Ludlow, to Shrewsbury.
“Scientists tell us that we must decarbonise the way we live and work, starting now, if we are to have any chance of meeting Paris climate targets,” said Janet Lewis, a spokesperson for XR Bishops Castle and Clun. “As we recover from the Covid-19 lockdown, we need to ‘Build Back Green’, ensuring we reduce carbon in every single UK infrastructure project.
28% of UK carbon emissions come from the transport sector, yet, here in Shropshire, our county council is still promoting financial and carbon generating disasters like the North West Relief Road. Our politicians must take the lead in decarbonising the way we travel NOT building more roads which are guaranteed to increase carbon emissions.”
XR Ludlow and Leominster activist Bryony John added “The slogan for our September rebellion is ‘We Want To Live’. If you want to live and the people in charge are driving the planet to extinction, you’ve only got one choice… rebel.”